The Math Doesn’t Add Up in the Orlando Nightclub Shooting-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A post claiming that the “math” of the terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 50 people dead doesn’t add up has gone viral on social media.
This post detailing “a short math problem” about the Orlando nightclub shooting uses incorrect information and an incorrect version of events to arrive at that conclusion.
The post began circulating Facebook shortly after Omar Mateen went on a rampage at the Pulse in Orlando that left 50 people and many more injured. It’s not clear where it started or who the original author was, but a screen grab of it posted at The Free Patriot has been widely circulated.
First, it argues that there’s no way a lone shooter could have fired 1,000 rounds of .223 ammunition from an AR-15 and reload 30 times in under seven minutes.
However, Omar Mateen didn’t use an AR-15 in the shooting, and he didn’t fire 1,000 rounds. He used a Sig Sauer MCX rifle that he purchased on June 4, and a Glock 17 handgun that he purchased on June 5, according to Orlando Police.
The Sig Sauer MCX has an “effective rate of fire” of 150-200 rounds per minute, according to Army documents, and local news outlets have reported that Mateen fired 202 rounds at the nightclub.
Claims that the math doesn’t add up also lay out an incorrect chain of events — claiming that after Mateen stormed the club he holed up for three hours and then engaged in a gun battle with nine police officers for over an hour.
In reality, the entire ordeal lasted about three hours. After smuggling his weapon past a security guard or shooting his way into the club, Mateen unleashed a hail of bullets. An off-duty officer who had been working at Pulse was among the first responders, and quickly engaged him in a shoot out, the New York Times reports:
Chief Mina said that an off-duty officer who had been working at Pulse responded to shots fired at about 2 a.m. Sunday. Additional officers rushed to the scene, he said, and entered the nightclub, where they engaged in a gun battle with Mr. Mateen, forcing him to retreat to a bathroom where officers believed he had four to five hostages. About 15 to 20 people were in another bathroom.
Mina said that things “kind of stabilized” after Mateen barricaded himself in the bathroom, and he established phone contact with police and called 911:
“He was cool and calm when he was making those phone calls to us,” Chief Mina said. “We had a team of crisis negotiators that did talk to the suspect, just trying to get as much information as possible, and they focused on what they could do to resolve the situation.”
But, he added, “he really wasn’t asking for a lot and we were doing most of the asking.” Asked about reports that Mr. Mateen was laughing or celebrating, the chief said there was no sign of that in the phone conversations.
“There was talk about bomb vests, about explosives, throughout,” and eventually “there were statements made about imminent loss of life.”
After Mateen talked about explosives and more causalities, police used an explosive device and an armored vehicle to blow through an exterior wall of the bathroom, which allowed hostages to flee. Mateen came out shooting and was killed in a gun battle with police.
So, the entire ordeal lasted about three hours from 2 a.m. – 5 p.m. And, for most of that time, Mateen was barricaded inside a bathroom. He fired about 200 rounds when he first entered the club, but it’s not clear how many he fired in total, including the last exchange with police.
Given that claims that the math doesn’t add up get the key events wrong — the type of gun used, how many shots were fired and the timeline of events — we’re calling this one fiction.