“I did it for ISIS”: TV producer says shooter called him during Orlando massacre

The FBI won’t confirm the claims, but the call has since been traced to Omar Mateen’s phone number

By Brendan Gauthier

Published June 15, 2016 8:04PM (EDT)

Omar Mateen   (AP/Balkis Press)
Omar Mateen (AP/Balkis Press)

A local TV news station in Orlando, Florida, is reporting it took a call from deceased gunman Omar Mateen during his mass shooting Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning.

Producer Matthew Gentili, who fielded calls during the attack that claimed 49 lives, said he was “receiving phone calls from viewers saying, ‘What’s going on? What’s happening … in Orlando?’”

So it wasn’t out of the ordinary to get a call from a man asking, “Do you know about the shooting?”

Gentili was answering affirmatively when the caller interrupted.

“I’m the shooter. It’s me. I am the shooter,” the caller said, adding that he “did it for ISIS” before speaking Arabic.

Asked where he was calling from, the self-alleged shooter said it was none of Gentili’s 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.”

In the aftermath, Gentili was reportedly interviewed by the FBI, who declined to say whether the caller was actually Mateen. But the station said it later traced the call to a number matching Mateen’s.

Read Gentili’s full account here.

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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