ORLANDO — The city of Orlando on Wednesday released another small batch of 911 calls from the Pulse nightclub shooting that show how emergency dispatchers juggled hundreds of panicked calls, more than three months after gunman Omar Mateen left 49 people dead and more than 50 injured.
The emotional calls flooded in immediately after the shooting began just after 2 a.m. on June 12.
"I'm outside the Pulse and I think my friend just got shot," one caller told a dispatcher.
The dispatcher said he could not stay on the line; other calls were coming in, and he had to take them.
"But my friend is shot," the caller said.
"Okay, but I've gotta hang up with you, I've gotta handle the people that are shot," the dispatcher said. "Okay?"
The caller started crying. Her injured friend was with her, outside the club, she said.
"She is right here, I'm telling you, she's bleeding and she's shot," she said.
Dispatchers received a total of 603 calls from victims, friends, family, bystanders and rescue workers for hours the morning of June 12. The 911 operators balanced the need to answer calls, gather information to give to law enforcement and comfort those in distress.
Officials called into dispatch as well. At 2:12 a.m., an Orlando Fire Department employee called Orlando Regional Medical Center to prepare staff for "several patients" en route to the hospital. Meanwhile, Orlando police were setting up a "safe zone" behind Einstein's Bagels for OFD medics to treat victims.
Some people inside the club relayed information to others, who then called 911.
"He said his mom was there, and his mom got shot," one caller said at 2:18 a.m., his voice cracking. His friend and his mother, whose shoulder was injured, were still on the dance floor.
"We don't know what to tell him. … He said he can see the shooter. The shooter's still in the building," the caller said.
In a call at 2:26 a.m., a police lieutenant requested multiple medics to treat "25-plus" victims.