We had an extra duty, off duty officer working for Pulse nightclub in full police uniform. At about 2 o'clock he responded to shots fired. He did engage in a gun battle with the suspect somewhere near one of the entrances, shortly after that additional officers responded. Those additional officers made entry while the suspect was shooting, engaged in another gun battle with the suspect.
Forced him to stop shooting and retreat to the bathroom, where we believe he had several hostages. At that time, we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people who were injured and not injured and get them out of the club. We believed further loss of life was imminent.
I made the decision to commence the rescue operation and do the explosive breach. The explosive breach did not penetrate the wall completely. We used our armored vehicle, the Bear Cat armored vehicle to punch a hole in that wall, defeat that wall. So there is a hole in the wall about two feet off the ground and about two or three feet wide.
We were able to rescue dozens and dozens of people that came out of that hole. The suspect came out of that hole himself armed with a handgun and a long gun, engaged in a gun battle with officers where he was ultimately killed.