Orlando News Producer Says He Received Call From Orlando Terrorist During Attack
The Orlando terrorist who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub, Omar Mateen made several calls during the three hour hostage situation on Sunday morning.
A local news station producer from News 13, Matthew Gentili said that he received a phone call around 2:45 A.M while he was collecting information regarding the shooting that started taking place around 2:00 A.M.
Multiple people were calling the station looking for inquiries regarding the shooting, but one phone call he received was different.
Gentili said he answered the phone as he usually does when someone calls the station and on the other end of the line, the man said “Do you know about the shooting?”
Gentili attempted to reply to the question and said he was are of the shooting, but the caller cut him.
“I will never forget the words he said to me,” Gentili told News 13 as he recounted the words the man on the phone said.
“I’m the shooter. It’s me. I am the shooter,” the man on the other end of the line said.
“He did it for ISIS, and he started speaking Arabic,” Gentili said of the early morning phone call. “At the time, I didn’t know what he was saying. He was speaking so fast. But it was … he was speaking fluently. Whatever language he was speaking, he knew it. And he was speaking it very quickly. And that is when I said to him, ‘Sir. Please. Speak in English, please,” Gentili told News 13.
Gentili remembers the caller saying, “I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State.”
A female survivor of the terrorist attacks, Patience Carter, who was trapped in the bathroom during the hostage situation told reporters that she remembered Mateen speaking Arabic on the phone but did not know who was on the other end, nor what he was saying.
Gentili asked the caller where he was calling from, to which the man replied, “none of your (expletive) business.”
“It was silent for a while. I asked him: Is there anything else you want to say? ” Gentili said. “He said no and hung up the phone.”
After Gentili finished his work shift, he was interviewed by the FBI.
A News 13 managing editor did some research on the phone number that called the station and matched it up to Omar Mateen.