This is off topic, but there is an aspect of the news reports regarding the terror attack on the gay nightclub in Florida which doesn’t add up. According to the available reports:
- The terrorist called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS just before he began the attack.
- At 2:02 AM the terrorist engaged in a firefight with an off duty police officer providing security for the club. Two more officers quickly showed up and joined the firefight.
- The terrorist (re?)entered the club and started shooting. At first the patrons of the club didn’t understand what was happening; they thought the gunfire was part of the music.
- Three hours later at or around 5:00 AM, the police breached the building and killed the terrorist.
Some time between when the shooting started at 2:02 AM and when the police finally entered the building around 5:00 AM, the terrorist shot 103 people (50 killed, 53 wounded). The news reports are calling this a hostage standoff, but the reports from people inside are that the shooting started right away. Based on the available reports, it appears that the police left an unknown number of shooting victims to bleed out for three hours before entering the building. Beyond that, one of two scenarios must have occurred:
- The police allowed the shooter to continue to shoot the club patrons unchallenged for three hours.
- There was a three hour pause in the shooting.
The first scenario is unimaginable. Given the fact that many people were calling for help on their cell phones, it would mean that the main function of the police was to prevent anyone from going in to protect the patrons while the terrorist shot 103 people.
But the second scenario doesn’t look much better. Given the fact that 103 people where shot, this would mean that the police either
- Allowed dozens of wounded patrons to bleed out for three hours.
- Were so slow in moving in once the shooting resumed (after three hours of preparation) that the shooter was able to shoot dozens of people before the police breached the building.
It is possible that the information we have is still incorrect, but so far it looks to me that whoever was in charge failed in a major way. My guess is that he or she became fixated on the idea that this was just another hostage scenario, and ignored all evidence that this was a terror attack for a full three hours. What baffles me however is that I don’t see anyone in the press or a blogger linked from Drudge or Instapundit raising these questions. Something doesn’t make sense here, and I strongly suspect we are going to learn in the coming days that the police response was terribly botched.
Update: I now see that the LA Times is raising this same question. According to the Times, the local PD is referring the question to the FBI, who is referring the question back to the local PD.
Update 2: Another news piece is referencing this: ORLANDO MASS SHOOTING: Police veered from modern engagement tactic, expert says