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Lynch: We’re providing $1M for nightclub shooting OT

By Rene Stutzman, Gray Rohrer and Elyssa Cherney,

Calling the attack on a gay Orlando nightclub an act of “unspeakable terror,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday met with victims, first responders and investigators who are leading the probe and offered $1 million to help cover local overtime costs.

“The Department of Justice is also determined to do anything we can to help this community heal, recover and become whole,” she said during an afternoon news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Orlando.

An agency she heads, the FBI, is leading the investigation into the June 12 attack that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub south of downtown Orlando.

A 29-year-old security guard from Fort Pierce, Omar Mateen, opened fire shortly after 2 a.m. with an assault rifle and a 9-mm handgun.

He was killed in a shootout with Orlando SWAT officers about 5:15 a.m., shortly after they tried to blast their way through a back wall and when that didn’t work, rammed it with an armored vehicle.

Bullet trajectory

The $1 million in emergency funding from the Department of Justice is available to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, provided that it applies on behalf of the city of Orlando and other local first responders, Lynch said.

She provided little new information about the investigation but indicated investigators are working to track each bullet that was fired either by Mateen or a law enforcement officer.

That was in response to a reporter’s question about whether any of the victims was hit by police gunfire.

“We don’t know right now the trajectory of all the bullets … and how all of the victims died,” she said. “We haven’t finished that assessment.”

After the news conference, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Mateen had been at the club earlier in the evening, although, he did not know details, such as when he departed or when he returned.

Also on Tuesday, the state agency that gave Mateen a license to carry a firearm confirmed it has launched an investigation following a report that a psychologist whose name appeared in his paperwork never evaluated him.

Before the state of Florida gives someone a license to be a security guard and carry a gun, he must pass a psychological evaluation.


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