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State Attorney holds news conference about Pulse Nightclub shooting

Posted at 9:21 AM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 19:20:17-05

ORLANDO, Fla. — The State Attorney who represents Orange and Osceola Counties held a news conference Wednesday about the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016.

A investigation by the State Attorney in Orlando cleared all police officers and deputies who traded gunfire with the gunman in the Pulse nightclub massacre, from any wrongdoing.

State Attorney Aramis D. Ayala announced that law enforcement officers fired more than 180 shots at the gunman, Omar Mateen, but struck no civilians. In total, more than 400 shots combined were fired by law enforcement and Mateen.

“ There is absolutely nothing criminal in the conduct of anyone,” said State Attorney Aramis Ayala of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, referring to the 14 law enforcement officers who fired their weapons that night.

The FBI said Mateen opened fire at the nightclub on June 12, 2016, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others.

Investigators describe some frightening episodes during the ordeal in which over 400 shots were fired by the gunman and police, but they say none of the shots from police hit any innocent victims.

Following a six-month review of evidence, the State Attorney's Office said Wednesday that 14 law enforcement officers fired their weapons in five different engagements with Mateen. He was eventually killed by police.

"They did what they had to do and save many lives that night,” said Orange County Sheriff John Mina.

11 of the officers were with the Orlando Police Department, and three were with the Orange County Sheriff's Office. All of them have received clearance letters from State Attorney Ayala.

"As our city grieves the senseless tragedy of the Pulse nightclub shooting, I hope sharing the results of this investigation help the survivors and loved ones find some closure," Ayala said.

Survivors of the shooting watched the results of the investigation in another location over a private feed.

Mateen's widow, Noor Salman, was acquitted in March of last year on charges of lying to the FBI and helping her husband plan the attack.

The Pulse nightclub is now a memorial run by the One Pulse Foundation.