Tag Archives: suspect

Audio captures police strategizing about Pulse shooter

Police negotiators talking to the Orlando nightclub gunman at first weren’t sure if the person they had on the phone was actually in the Pulse nightclub, according to audio recordings.

The recordings between police negotiators and shooter Omar Mateen don’t stray from transcripts of conversations released previously by the city of Orlando.

But they do capture police officials strategizing among themselves about how to talk to Mateen, who hung up several times during the three-hour standoff at the gay nightclub.

Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber ruled this week that Mateen’s calls should be made public.

But she won’t rule on releasing other 911 calls from the mass shooting until she has listened to them.

More than two dozen news groups, including The Associated Press, have been fighting the city in court over the release of more than 600 calls dealing with the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The city has released about two-thirds of the calls but is still withholding the 232 calls that lawyers for the city say depict suffering or killing and are exempt from Florida’s public records laws.

The media groups have argued that the city’s application of the exemption is too broad and that the 911 calls will help the public evaluate the police response to the shooting at the gay nightclub.

In one of the calls released, a police official can be heard early on saying he’s not convinced the person on the call is in the club.

At another point, the lead police negotiator, named “Andy,” said, “He sounds like he is in a very sterile environment, like he’s at a home or an apartment.”

But another police official said Mateen could be in an office or bathroom.

The recordings also show how the negotiators were feeling out whether they had accurately identified the suspect.

“We called him Omar,” said Andy, who was then interrupted by another police official who says, “He didn’t deny it.”

Between calls, they mulled over what Mateen had told them, such as his refusal to answer if he had an accomplice.

They discussed Mateen’s claims that he was wearing a vest and that he had explosives in a car outside the nightclub. He wasn’t wearing a bomb vest and there were no explosives in a car, but police officials didn’t know that at the time.

“He said the bombs are in a car in the parking lot. He’s not confirming anything,” a police official can be heard saying in the background as Andy implores Mateen to respond.

Andy tells another police official that Mateen had claimed to be wearing a vest but he didn’t know what type.

“A dress vest. A bulletproof vest, or a bomb vest. That’s all I got. We questioned him on it and he shut down,” the police negotiator said.

The judge allowed family members of the 49 patrons who died to testify about whether they wanted the remaining 911 calls made public. Some opposed the release while others were OK with the transcript being made public.

“It would be extremely difficult for family and friends to listen to these calls,” said Jessica Silva, whose brother, Juan Rivera Velazquez, died with his partner in Pulse. “Just listening to one of the calls … We can recognize voices. Just listening to them screaming … How are we going to feel?”

The FBI has offered no indication of when the probe into the shooting that also left 53 people seriously wounded will be done.

An FBI spokeswoman didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Aileen Carillo, whose brother, Simon Adrian Carillo Fernandez, died in the nightclub, said she would like to listen to the calls to help her understand what happened, but didn’t want them to be made public.

“I would like to know what happened. We haven’t really heard what happened. We are unaware of the facts,” Carillo said on the witness stand through a Spanish interpreter.

Milwaukee police take 3 hours to respond to sex assault

An 82-year-old woman waited three hours for Milwaukee police to respond to her call for help after she was sexually assaulted, according to police department records.

The department has been criticized for long response times in the past, and a spokesman acknowledged this one was “excessive.”

Earlier this month, the woman was knocked to the ground by a stranger and sexually assaulted after she got off a bus near her home in Milwaukee, according to records obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. After walking home, the woman called 911. The call was initially given top priority, but after the woman refused to have paramedics come to her home for medical care her call was downgraded, according to the records.

The victim at one point told a dispatcher she had refused medical treatment because she was worried about paying an ambulance bill. The woman, who has difficulty with her sight, then called police again and asked if she could take a shower. The dispatcher advised her not to in order to preserve evidence.

Ninety minutes after the first call, a dispatcher notified the supervisor that no squad car had been sent to the woman’s house. The sergeant said that squads were busy with other calls, according to the records obtained by the newspaper. Another hour and 20 minutes passed and the victim called again, asking if a squad car was coming.

After three hours and six minutes, a squad responded and the woman was taken to a sexual assault treatment center.

Police spokesman Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said the case is under review.

“The Milwaukee Police Department is reviewing both our dispatch prioritization protocol and the handling of this specific call for service to ensure policy was followed and determine whether policy revision is needed, as the time from the initial call to the police and the dispatch of a squad was excessive,” he said.

About a year ago, Police Chief Edward Flynn vowed to improve response times after it took officers 22 minutes to respond to the report of a fatal stabbing. At the time, police said they were investigating a separate stabbing in which the response also was delayed.

Stephen Ray Robinson, a 28-year-old from Milwaukee, was charged Friday with two counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated battery. The complaint says he admitted to attacking the woman and told police he walked away when she started yelling for God. Online court records don’t list an attorney for Robinson.

Suspect walks free in NY transgender death case

The case against a suspect arrested in connection with the fatal beating of a transgender woman in Manhattan has been dismissed.

The Daily News says 20-year-old Paris Wilson left Manhattan criminal court earlier this week as prosecutors said they were not ready to move ahead in the case.

The victim, 21-year-old Islan Nettles, was attacked in Harlem in August. Police say she and a friend, another transgender woman, ran into a group of men who made anti-gay remarks.

Police say one of the men beat Nettles, who lapsed into a coma and later died.

Wilson was arrested on assault charges, but upgraded charges were pending because the victim died. His lawyer said Wilson never laid a hand on Nettles.

Prosecutors say the case remains active.

Woman lapses into coma after silicone injections

New Orleans police are searching for an individual suspected of illegally injecting silicone into the hips and buttocks of two women, one of whom lapsed into a coma.

Local media outlets reported that the suspect, 32-year-old Armani Nicole Davenport. The reports said that police obtained an arrest warrant late last week for Davenport on a charge of negligent injuring.

According to the local news reports, police believe two women voluntarily received silicone injections from Davenport at a New Orleans home on Oct. 24. One of the women summoned paramedics after her friend developed breathing problems.

Investigators believe Davenport is a Baton Rouge native who lives in Dallas and often travels between Louisiana, Texas and Georgia to perform in pageants.

Sketch released of double-shooting suspect in Texas

Authorities have released a sketch of a possible suspect in the double-shooting in Portland, Texas, that left a teenager dead and her girlfriend in serious condition.

Teenager Mary Kristene Chapa continues to recover after being shot execution-style in in Violet Andrews Park June 22-23. Mollie Olgin, a 19-year-old student at Texas A & M, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The girls were found in a knee-high grass on June 23 by another couple walking in the popular, 10-acre park.

The Portland Police Department is investigating the murder-aggravated assault with the assistance of the Texas Rangers and the FBI.

Authorities, based on a witness statement, described a suspect as a light-skinned Anglo male, in his 20s, with brown hair, about 5’8” and 140 pounds. He has a slim build.

A sketch of the man was released on July 4.

The police department is accepting tips at 361-777-4444.