this is a special edition of "nightline." inside the pulse nightclub terror. tonight, newly released body cam footage from the pulse nightclub. police moving in on the deadliest mass shooting in american history. >> show me your hands! show us your hands! >> dramatic recordings with the shooter. >> you're speaking with the person who pledged his allegiance to the islamic state. >> new details of the harrowing rescues. >> let's go, get them out! >> exclusive interviews with officers who risked everything to put a stop to evil that night. >> as i look to my right i see two of our officers start shooting down a hallway. >> untold stories of the moment terror struck in orlando. this special edition of "nightline" will be right back.
this is a special edition of "nightline." "inside the pulse nightclub terror." >> good evening and we are dedicating our entire show tonight to the wrenching new body cam video from the officers who responded to the massacre at the pulse nightclub in orlando. it was nearly a year ago america witnessed its deadliest mass shooting. tonight you will watch as those officers storm into that club not knowing what they would find on the other side.
here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> hatnds up! this way! >> just go, just go, just go! >> reporter: 11 hours of new videos made public today. show the chaos and carnage of that horrible night. >> i see shadows moving in there. >> reporter: as police first responders try to save the wounded and hunt down the killer. >> police! >> reporter: next week marks one year since the attack. and the images, memories and emotions in orlando are still raw. >> the look in their eyes, see that they had seen something they had never, ever seen before. >> reporter: that weekend would begin in tragedy on friday night and would only get worse. >> this is joe on a recorded line. >> somebody just opened fire at the plaza live. >> our officers responded to a nightclub shooting where
christine grimmie was shot and killed. >> reporter: 24 hours later another killer was waiting. driving to orlando from his home two hours away. heading into the city on interstate 4. heavily armed. the target, the pulse nightclub. a popular spot in the city's gay community. inside, it was latin night. >> our regulars were out having a good time. >> we were all like in a great mood. we were in the club dancing. >> one or two minutes after alcohol was done, all of a sudden there was a shot. >> shots fired, shots fired! >> reporter: an off-duty police detective working security at pulse, adam grueler, radioed in. >> shots fired, 1912, south orange avenue, multiple down, signal 43 -- >> what does that mean? >> emergency assistance, we needed you five minutes ago. >> reporter: less than 90 seconds after signal 43 goes out, backup units begin to arrive. including one officer from the bicycle patrol downtown. graham cage. >> i heard the emergency call.
and i just jumped on my bike and was quick as possible. >> reporter: this newly released video comes from the body cam worn by officer cage as he arrived at the nightclub. >> that's where they are. i see shadows moving in here. >> you ran in there where there was an active shooter. you don't have heavy body armor. >> what you're see me wearing right now, light vest, that's it. >> look behind you. >> what do you know? >> police emergency, natasha. your call's record. >> please tell the cops to come. >> did you see the shooter inside the club? >> no, but they're talking. >> what are they saying? can you make out the words? >> no, please, they're going to kill us. >> right when we were about to go in, we were still hearing shots. >> it opens up. behind the fence it opens up. show us your hands! is there anybody else in here? >> no i called 911 -- >> show us your hands. >> i got his hands, come out.
come out, come out. >> we're policemen, come out. >> hurry up, hurry up, hurry up. >> come out hands up, hands up. >> hands up, coming out. >> what are we doing now? >> getting more, just trying to get them out. >> reporter: the bullets missed jackie but hit the two friends she was standing with. one mortally. >> gunshot wound to his chest. i saw that he was injured. he was nonresponsive. >> reporter: bodies, dead and wounded everywhere. those images are blacked out by police as required by florida law. >> those first few officers that get there need to go to that scene, go to the building, and get in and engage that shooter. >> chase after the shooter? >> that's correct. >> reporter: police training calls for officers to head straight to the active shooter. even fit means going past the victims. >> plenty more victims in here. >> a person reached up. and asked for help. but at that point we didn't know where the shooter was, if he was
detained, if he was deceased, or what was going on. so as much as i wanted to help him, i could not help him until we knew for sure. >> you had to walk away from the vict victim? >> yes. >> this is going to be astronomical numbers. >> we continue down the southeast side. stepping over bodies. then as i looked to my right, i see two of our officers start shooting down a hallway. >> suspected barricaded inside with multiple hostages, multiple people down and shot. >> they saw him, saw a threat, gamed that threat. >> what happened to the shooter? >> he holed up inside a bathroom inside the business. >> we have him contained in the bathroom. >> reporter: the orlando s.w.a.t. team is in place led by major mark canty. >> just kind of went quick from active shooter to barricaded gunman, hostage situation. >> did you decide to just go in and get him if. >> no. >> reporter: it was a decision later criticized by some, as it would take three hours for
police to gain full control and get all the wounded back to safety. chief john mena in the command post says it was the right call. >> we were in there saving people from the dance floor, from dressing rooms, from the other bathroom. and in fact we took 22 people out of the front bathroom. once we were inside that club, there were no more gunshots until the final assault. >> reporter: but the shooter was still inside, cornered and dangerous. >> emergency 911, this is being recorded. >> in the name of gracious god -- >> what? >> the merciful god -- i want to let you know i'm in orlando and i did the shooting. >> reporter: a half hour after he first hoped fire the shooter called into the orlando police department dispatch center. >> okay. what's your name? >> i pledge my allegiance to abu bakr al baghdadi on behalf of the islamic state. >> she asked him to repeat what he was saying. >> what's your name? >> i pledge my allegiance to abu
bakr al baghdadi on behalf of the islamic state. >> the dispatcher said, you need to hear this call. >> reporter: sergeant andy brennan, trained hostage negotiator, was working an off-duty detail at a bar downtown that night. when he responded to the signal 43 call at pulse. and headed to the dispatch center. >> so i went and sure enough, five minutes later, this shooter calls in. >> where are you at? >> in orlando. >> where in orlando? >> reporter: the shooter hung up, as he would again and again that night. >> chilling. i said, let's call. so we made our first call. immediately. from that dispatcher's station. >> hello there. hi, there. this is orlando police, who am i speaking with, please? >> you're speaking with the person who pledges allegiance to the islamic state of abu bakr al baghdadi -- >> we wanted to confirm we had in fact the person that was inside. you can start to hear the
serious tone in his voice. >> reporter: for the next 55 minutes, brennan will engage the shooter on the phone, listening to his rants about isis and syria. >> they need to stop the u.s. air strikes. you have to tell the u.s. government to stop bombing. >> i understand that. but here's why i'm here right now. i'm with the orlando police. can you tell me what you know about what's going on tonight? >> what's going on is that i feel the pain of the people getting killed in syria and iraq. >> okay. so have you done something about that? >> yes, i have. >> tell me what you did, please. >> you already know what i did. >> reporter: at the scene, officers are using the time to get as many victims out as possible. >> we're trying to get people who are breathing out of here. >> hands up, hands up! >> reporter: one big concern the shooter might try to hide among the>> places you'd think only t people could hide we were
finding ten people. >> reporter: officer james hyland arrived in his personal pickup truck which was turned into a makeshift ambulance by his partner. >> we didn't have any ambulances or anything there. he started loading people up. he just jumped in the truck. i left it unlocked. he was going back and forth doing one run after another after another. >> reporter: others could not be reached and they used their phones to call loved ones who called 911 and pleaded for help. >> my girlfriend's in the bathroom. there are now four dead in the bathroom and two shot and bleeding out. if somebody be doesn't get there soon they're going to die. >> my son is shot in the club in the pulse in oral. he's still in the bathroom where he's bleeding. he got shot and nobody's going in for him. >> reporter: by pressing the phone number negotiator brennan had learned the shooter's name, omar mateen, a 29-year-old son of afghan immigrants, an angry and troubled man with a history of violence and failure.
>> omar, this is andy from orlando police. >> at some point you start to call him omar. >> yes. if you introduce a level of familiarity, there's less opportunity that this person is going to be depersonalized. >> reporter: but then the negotiator hears words from mateen that quickly change the dynamic for everyone inside the nightclub. >> by the way, there's some vehicles outside that have some bombs, just to let you know. your people are going to get it. i'm going to innight fit they try to do anything stupid. >> okay, i understand that. i'll pass that along. can you tell me what vehicles? i don't want to see anybody get hurt. >> no. but i'll tell you this. it can take out a whole city block almost. >>. >> reporter: a frantic search begins for the shooter's car. once more the threat escalates. >> i have a vest. >> okay, you have a vest. i understand that. okay, so what kind of vest are
you talking about? is it a bullet-resistant vest? is it a bomb vest? >> no. it's what they used in france. >> it's what they used in france. >> i got to go. >> we're getting a report that somebody in one of the bathrooms may have an explosive device wrap strapped to him. in the building. you may not want to stay there. >> reporter: but not a single officer pulled back to safety. >> in it to win it. >> you weren't going to leave? >> no. >> reporter: the police prepare to move in when we return. >> keep coming! >> right behind you. out? ...including this little girl. and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital, but wondered, was this the best treatment for me? so i asked my doctor. and he recommended eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. yes, eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots. eliquis also had
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>> reporter: with victims still trapped inside and the threat of massive explosives, orlando police hostage negotiator andy brennan knew he was running out of time. >> tell me what's going on right now, omar. >> what's going on is that the air strikes need to stop. >> i've heard that and i want you to come outside and tell us that yourself. so the message rings true from you. not me passing along your message. i'm doing that. but i need you to come outside with no weapons. omar. yep, he did hang up, 3:25. >> reporter: that was the fourth and final call between brennan and the shooter. the chief decides his officers will have to storm the back bathrooms of the nightclub. >> i wasn't going to sit here in this command post knowing he was going to blow up everyone, all those hostages, inside that club. there were many hostages left inside. >> it was your decision alone?
>> it was my decision alone. >> reporter: the s.w.a.t. team outside knows where the hostages are hiding. and they help them push a window air conditioner out of the way to create an escape opening. >> there's someone knocking on the window, someone's knocking on the window. >> someone's knocking on their window. is it the air conditioning window? >> yep. they're knocking it in. >> that's us, ma'am. >> we're going to push the air conditioning unit in. before we do, you guys have to catch it because if you let it drop or you make any noise, the killer's going to know where you're at and he might shoot through the walls and kill you. >> did they catch it? >> you see all their hands reach up and grabbed it, able to lower it to the ground without making a sound. i think the first person that came out was the person that was injured. they were able to get out by themselves. >> reporter: eight hostages ran for their freedom. >> hey, over here, let's go, over here in the parking lot! >> reporter: elsewhere outside pulse, jackie made her escape, carrying her friend shot in the
chest, who would later die. waiting outside was her father, an orlando firefighter. >> i give her a quick once-over. make sure she has all her body parts and she's okay. because i know that she could have been one of those who were killed or injured. >> it wasn't until he was there and i knew that i could kind of collapse in his arms and i'd be okay. >> reporter: using an armored vehicle, a bearcat, to bust open holes in the wall and create an escape route, driven by officer rob woodger. >> you could see them coming out? >> oh, yes. every person we got out was a victory for us. at that point we need to get these people out of this building. one by one they're coming out of holes and it's a great feeling seeing them come out. >> this way, this way! let's go, just go, just go! >> move back to a safe location, please, get away from the sidewalk. >> when they're running for their life, they had no idea what was going on. they were -- thing in the
bathroom, chaotic. >> was there concern by doing the breach, going through the wall, the gunman might open up on the other hostages? >> yes. there was a concern. but you're trying to save as many people as you can. so i mean, there's 13 people in that bathroom. you want to save them. there's five with him. >> it was a risky call, wasn't it? >> yeah, yeah. >> reporter: but it worked. and drew mateen, the shooter, out into the open, firing at the officers and the bearcat. >> like a wall of shooting. 30 seconds of the most awesome sound you could hear. because it was us returning fire towards him. >> and then one of the bullets struck officer napolitano right in the kevlar helmet. probably within an inch of losing his life. >> hold on, brother, i got you, i got you. >> he went down to the ground. still returning fire. and the other officers there returned fire, killing the
suspect. >> if that shot had been an inch lower? >> he would have been dead, no doubt in my mind. >> your guy's so lucky. >> got hit in the helmet? >> [ bleep ] right between the eyes. >> really? >> right here, dude. >> reporter: then the radio call. "suspect down." >> and a giant cheer went up in the comm center and i was right there with them. >> reporter: the worst mass shooting in american history had ended. >> what do you still see in your head when you think about what you saw that night? >> the sound of cell phones ringing. looking down, i could see phones laying -- i mean, multiple phones -- just laying in pools of blood. knowing that that's somebody's loved one trying to get ahold of their loved one. and they're not able to pick up that phone. >> oh, it was 20, 30 phones constantly going. i mean, one starts, another stops. three of them going over there. it was constant. that was hours. >> people trying to reach loved ones. >> yes. >> must have been so sad.
>> it was. >> i think that was probably actually the most eerie thing. >> reporter: and soon the horror of it all took hold. >> several of us commented that this is going to change the city forever. probably change what we do forever. >> reporter: for "nightline," brian ross, abc news, orlando. >> our thanks to brian ross for his extraordinary reporting tonight. and we'll be right back. ♪ you might not ever just stand there, looking at it. you may never even sit in the back seat. yeah, but maybe you should. ♪ (laughter) ♪
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