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Audio: Orlando shooter called Tamerlan Tsarnaev ‘my homeboy’

Omar Mateen opened fire in June at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people.
Omar Mateen opened fire in June at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people.Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel via AP/file 2016

Omar Mateen, the Orlando nightclub shooter, called Boston Marathon terror bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev his “homeboy’’ during one conversation he had with a 911 dispatcher, newly released audio shows.

Mateen, who called himself an “Islamic soldier” at one point during the call, was ultimately killed by authorities who stormed into the Pulse nightclub, but not before he had murdered 49 workers and patrons at the club on June 12.

In a portion of the call released by a Florida judge, Mateen tells the dispatcher he is acting on behalf of women and children he said were being killed in Syria and Iraq by American and Russian military bombing.


“You need to know that they need to stop bombing of Syria and Iraq. The US is collaborating with Russia and they are killing innocent women and children,’’ Mateen tells the dispatcher. “My homeboy, Tamerlan Tsarnaev did his thing on the Boston Marathon. ... So now it’s my turn.’’

Mateen was referring to the older of the two Tsarnaev brothers who detonated two bombs near the Marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three and wounding more than 260 others. The brothers also murdered MIT Police Officer Sean Collier on April 18, 2013, in a failed attempt to steal his pistol.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died hours later in a shootout with police in Watertown while his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, eluded a massive police dragnet until he was found hiding in a boat stored in the back yard of a Watertown home.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted his role in the bombings and was sentenced to death by a US District Court jury in Boston in 2015. His death sentence is being appealed.

The three who were killed were Krystle Marie Campbell, 29, who grew up in Medford and was a well-known restaurant and event caterer; Lingzi Lu, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student from China; and Martin Richard, an 8-year-old Dorchester boy whose family made the Marathon an annual family outing.


During the hourslong attack at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Mateen, in sometimes rambling conversations with police negotiators, also identified himself as a follower of ISIS, the radical Islamic group that President Obama has called a “vicious death cult.”

The exchange in which he links himself to Tamerlan Tsarnaev was ordered released by a Florida judge. The judge is also deciding whether to release 232 calls that Orlando city lawyers argue should remain sealed because they depict suffering or killing, the Associated Press reported.

Listen to the audio calls. Warning: Disturbing language/content.

Omar Mateen’s call to 911

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.