More than a third were shot in the head, and most had multiple bullet wounds and were likely shot more than 3 feet (0.91 meters) away. From October 2006 until April 2007, Mateen trained to be a prison guard for the Florida Department of Corrections.As a probationary employee, he received an "administrative termination (not involving misconduct)" After the shooting, the psychologist who reportedly evaluated and cleared Mateen for his firearms license in 2007 by G4S records denied ever meeting him or having lived in Florida at the time, and said she had stopped her practice in Florida since January 2006.G4S was subsequently fined for lapses in its psychological testing program (see below).

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Because so many people were lying on the dance floor, one rescuing officer was forced to demand, "[I]f you're alive, raise your hand.", police had managed to extract nearly all of the injured from the nightclub.

Those who remained included the hostages held by Mateen in the bathroom, as well as a dozen people who were hiding inside dressing rooms.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also conducted an investigation and said it found no evidence of communications between ISIL and Mateen.

During the shooting, some of the people who were trapped inside the club sought help by calling or sending text messages to friends and relatives.

Many described a scene of panic and confusion caused by the loud music and darkness.

One person shielded herself by hiding inside a bathroom and covering herself with bodies.

She also called him several times during the standoff, but he did not answer.

She found out about what was happening at Just before the breach, Mateen entered a women's bathroom where the hostages were hiding and opened fire, killing a man who sacrificed his life to save the woman behind him and at least one other, according to witnesses., fourteen SWAT officers—after failing to blow open a big enough hole in the bathroom's exterior wall using a bomb—successfully breached the building when a policeman drove a Bear Cat armored vehicle through a wall in the northern bathroom.

G4S admitted Mateen's form had a "clerical error" and clarified that he had instead been cleared by another psychologist from the same firm that bought the wrongly-named doctor's practice.

This doctor had not interviewed Mateen, but evaluated the results of a standard test used in the screening he undertook before being hired.

Following the nightclub attack, she said Mateen was "mentally unstable and mentally ill" and "obviously disturbed, deeply, and traumatized", was often physically abusive, and had a history of using steroids.