NEW: Omar Mateen's body claimed, medical examiner's office says
Partial 911 transcript of gunman's calls released, but redaction of information criticized
It’s now been more than a week since Omar Mateen armed himself with semi-automatic weapons, walked into Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and started shooting. By the time he was done, 49 clubgoers and Mateen were dead. Here’s the latest on the investigation, and the central Florida city’s efforts to recover:
911 transcripts released
On Monday, the FBI released a partial transcript of Mateen’s 911 call and summaries of his conversations with crisis negotiators during his June 12 shooting rampage.
According to the documents, Mateen claimed to be an “Islamic soldier,” talked to a police dispatcher in Arabic and pledged allegiance to an organization that goes unnamed in the transcript, but which a U.S. official has previously identified to CNN as ISIS.
The decision by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to edit out that reference drew some criticism, but FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper defended the move, saying authorities didn’t want to lend credence to terror leaders.
Other details – such as transcripts of calls from victims or audio – were withheld to avoid further traumatizing victims, Hopper said.
Weapons legislation votes in Congress
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on four pieces of weapons legislation Monday.
One would expand background check requirements for guns purchased at shows and over the Internet. Two others would delay or prevent gun sales to those who have been on a terrorist watch list. Another would increase the focus on mental health issues in background checks.
The votes follow in the wake of Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, ending a filibuster on the issue after securing promises to bring gun control legislation to Senate floor votes.
Mateen’s body claimed
Mateen’s remains have been claimed, the Orange County medical examiner’s office said Monday. But the agency wouldn’t say who claimed the body or when, except to say the gunman’s remains were the last from the shooting to be released.
On Sunday, tens of thousands turned out for a vigil at a park near downtown Orlando to honor the victims and show the community’s united front against violence and intolerance.
“It was the LBGTQ and Hispanic community that was targeted, and it was hateful and it was public,” organizer Kermit Silva told CNN. “And I think it has to be public for the rest of the community to stand up and say, ‘We’re not OK with it, and we’re going to get behind them and provide them with the support and strength they need.’ “
More funerals over the weekend
Cory Connell, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Luis Vielma, Stanley Almodovar III and Antonio Davon Brown were buried Saturday. Two other funerals were held Friday.
Connell, who wanted to be a firefighter, died protecting his girlfriend at Pulse. The Orange County Fire Department named him an honorary firefighter, and first responders lined the walls of a church where his funeral was held.
Paniagua was a construction worker remembered as loyal and helpful.
Vielma worked at the Universal Orlando resort on a “Harry Potter”-themed ride. Almodovar was a pharmacy technician, and Brown was a captain in the Army Reserve remembered for his sense of humor.
Update on hospitalized victims
As of Monday, 18 shooting victims remained in the hospital – four in critical condition, Orlando Medical Center said.
The latest on Mateen
Investigators are still trying to unravel Mateen’s motivations.
On Friday, there were more revelations about his past, including a history of suspensions during high school and details of his dismissal from a training program to become a correctional officer.
According to documents provided to CNN, Mateen fell asleep in class during training at least twice, and once inquired about whether a fellow recruit would say anything if he brought a gun to class.
Also Friday, the owner of a gun store where Mateen apparently tried to buy body armor and ammunition also spoke out. Robert Abell told reporters his store reported Mateen’s suspicious visit, but because it had no name or way to lead authorities to him, the tip went nowhere.
CNN’s Tom LoBianco, Faith Karimi, Catherine E. Shoichet, Ralph Ellis and Ben Tinker contributed to this report.