Yesterday, 11 hours of bodycam footage from law enforcement outside the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting during the standoff with the shooter was released to ABC News. Now comes word that documentarian Charlie Minn, a former producer on John Walsh’s America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back, who has 23 docus under his belt, is completing a new feature documentary revealing what happened in the 192 minutes it took before the police overtook the Pulse shooter. That shooting took the lives of 49 people and wounded 53 others.
One Pulse, which does not mention the shooter’s name but instead concentrate on victims’ stories, takes a hard look at the law enforcement response — it took more than three hours before they confronted the shooter and got inside to attend to victims.
One of those victims was Drew Leinonen, the son of Christine Leinonen, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year. Drew died with his boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero that night and was one of the last victims to be identified. Many of the victims were taken hostage in the bathroom by the terrorist.
“Police first exchanged gunfire with the shooter and then decided not to pursue him into the bathroom. That was the most critical decision of that night,” Minn told Deadline. He also notes it’s been almost a year since the attack and the FBI report has yet to be released, and questions remain about why police did not go into the bathroom to pursue and take down the shooter. Orlando police officers just began speaking up in the last couple of days, saying it was because of the fear of death to officers and the threat of more victims.
Those decisions, however, are the basis of new reports just released examining the police response and the use of hostage negotiations with terrorists. The published report noted that police protocol for hostage situations during terrorist attacks should change given that terrorist organizations have no desire to negotiate. The U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating the Pulse police response.
“I was told during my interviews that some victims bled to death because it took 192 minutes,” said Minn. Much of it likely had to do with the lack of training in the police force (the same thing happened in Columbine due to lack of emergency active-shooter training). “Mass shooters may feel more confident doing these things if they think that police and law enforcement will back off,” said Minn.
Other documentaries by Minn include eight about the Mexican drug war. He also worked as a television news reporter and anchor for 10 years in markets including New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Portland. His documentaries include Nightmare In Las Cruces (which sold to Lionsgate); Mexico’s Bravest Men; and 77 Minutes, which chronicles police response at the San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre in 1984 that killed 22 and injured 19.
Three of his docs ranked in the top 50 out of 30,000 films on Amazon in the fall of 2016. He has sold his films to Lionsgate, Investigation Discovery, Aljazeera, Cinelatino and NBCU.
He is currently talking to distributors about a U.S. release for One Pulse.