Autopsies show Orlando club massacre victims were shot multiple times

August 5, 2016 6:20 PM EDT

People take part in a moment of silence, behind photos of victims killed in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, before the start of the annual NYC Pride parade in New York City, New York, U.S., June 26, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


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TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Autopsy reports on some of the people shot at a gay nightclub in Florida in June appear to support witness accounts of the massacre at the crowded club including that some people were shot many times before the gunman was brought down in a hail of police bullets.

Florida released autopsy reports on Friday for 31 of the 49 people killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. Reports for the remaining victims were pending.

Evidence of the way the shooter fired at people could be found in the autopsy report of an 18-year-old girl who was shot once near her jaw and twice through her upper body. When her body was found, one hoop earring dangled from her right ear and the other was tangled in her hair.

The autopsy by the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office on shooter Omar Mateen, 29, showed that he was hit in his head, neck, chest, abdomen, right calf and right foot. A toxicology report showed that there were no illicit drugs or alcohol in his system.

Mateen was killed by police who stormed the club after a three-hour siege.

The autopsy reports will likely be among evidence considered in a U.S. Justice Department review of the Orlando Police Department's response to the shootings.

The medical examiner found that a 30-year-old man died from a complex gunshot wound after a bullet entered his left arm, exited his chest and re-entered his neck.

Some 53 people were wounded.

During the shooting, Mateen used an assault rifle and pistol that had been legally purchased. Police negotiated with him for about three hours before breaking a hole in a wall, which allowed hostages to escape. Mateen was shot dead by police when he emerged from the hole, police have said.

(Writing by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)



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