9 Investigates: FBI special agent recalls his response to Pulse attack

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ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s been six months since the deadliest mass shooting in United States history played out in Orlando.

For the first time since the initial response, the FBI is talking about the case only to 9 Investigates.

Investigative reporter Karla Ray sat down with the special agent in charge at the scene.

FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said when he heard Orlando Police Chief John Mina’s voice, he knew what was happening at Pulse was a dire situation.

At 2:02 a.m. on June 12, the moment the first shots were fired at Pulse, Hopper’s life forever changed.

“It’s still pretty much a blur. A lot of the reaction was both instinct and training, which is a big reason we were able to handle the situation the way we did,” Hopper said. “I immediately called Chief John Mina, and as soon as I started talking to him, and heard the tone of his voice, I knew it was accurate, that there was an active shooter situation in downtown Orlando.”

Overnight, the man who had only held his title for about a year was thrust into leading the investigation of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

“Within minutes, I was dressed, in the car, en route to the scene, and at the same time, dispatching multiple agents strategically to determine who the shooter was, and start looking at whether there was a coordinated plot or effort nationwide,” Hopper said.

The calls included some to the…

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