TV Producer: Orlando Gunman Called Me

'I will never forget the words he said to me'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2016 8:53 AM CDT
TV Producer: Orlando Gunman Called Me From Club
This undated file image shows Omar Mateen.   (Myspace via AP, File)

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen not only called police during the massacre at Pulse nightclub but also, apparently, a TV station. News 13 producer Matthew Gentili says he was handling the phones just 2 miles from the club around 2:45am Sunday as viewers called in to ask about the shooting when he received a call that changed him, per Fox News. The caller asked if Gentili knew about the shooting, then announced, "I'm the shooter. It's me," Gentili says. The caller began speaking fluent Arabic until Gentili asked him to speak in English. "I will never forget the words he said to me," says Gentili. He said, "I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State."

The caller refused to tell Gentili where he was. When Gentili asked if the man had anything more to say, he said no and hung up. Gentili was interviewed by the FBI, which didn't confirm the call came from Mateen, but News 13 says the number matched the shooter's phone. The timing also makes sense, per the Washington Post. The first shots rang out around 2am. Authorities say Mateen called 911 around 2:30am and eventually had two short conversations with a dispatcher. The call to News 13 would have followed. "I'm never going to be able to answer the phone again without thinking this is the most serious call I'll ever get in my life," Gentili says. (More Omar Mateen stories.)

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