Orlando, Florida, police chief John Mina said on June 13 that some of his officers may have killed patrons inside Pulse nightclub while trying to stop shooter Omar Mateen on June 12.
"I will say this, that's all part of the investigation," Mina stated, notes the Naples Daily News. "But I will say when our SWAT officers, about eight or nine officers, opened fire, the backdrop was a concrete wall and they were being fired upon."
"It was a hard decision to make but it was the right decision," Mina added. "Our No. 1 priority is on saving lives and it was the right decision to make."
An off-duty cop was questioning an underage drinker outside the club when he heard shots from inside the club, an unidentified law enforcement source said. The cop ran inside and exchanged gunfire with Mateen.
Mateen was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a semi-automatic Glock handgun.
Three other police officers soon arrived on the scene, according to a law enforcement source.
"Those additional officers made entry while the suspect was shooting," Mina recalled. "They forced him to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom where we believe he had several hostages."
"He was in one bathroom fortified with hostages," Mina stated. "There were people in the opposing bathroom, about 15 or 20 people. And the details are unknown, they're part of the investigation."
While in the bathroom with hostages, Mateen made three calls to 911 and pledged his loyalty to ISIS, the Middle East terrorist group on the other side of the world.
Hostage negotiators were called to the scene and spoke to the shooter.
"Based off statements made by the suspect, and based on information we received by the suspect and from the hostages and the people inside we believe further loss of life was imminent," Mina said. "I made the decision to commence the rescue operation and do the explosive breach."
The police called a SWAT team who used three explosives charges, but they were not able to bring down a wall that led to a bathroom. Police then used a Bearcat to ram a hole in a bathroom wall to allow civilians to escape.
"There's a hole in the wall about two feet off the ground and three feet wid," Mina stated. "We were able to rescue dozens and dozens of people who came out of that wall. The suspect came out of that hole himself with a handgun and a long gun and engaged in a gun battle with officers where he was ultimately killed."
In more news about the nightclub shooting, a Facebook posting that said Mateen did not act alone has caused outrage.
On June 12, Cody Agnew wrote on Facebook that a woman was shot 12 times and had 11 bullets removed, but was still "coherent" and "fairly stable" when she said there were three gunmen, according to RT.
Agnew reportedly wrote in the now-deleted post: "There are two others that were in the club slaughtering people last night that were not caught. They are still out there and they are armed and dangerous. The media is not reporting this because they don’t want to scare everyone, but I think it’s important that people know."
The Orlando Police Department shot down that rumor with a June 13 tweet: "Alert: Rumors of multiple shooters are unfounded. The one shooter, Omar Mateen, is dead."