Government wants to use photos of Pulse gunman's body in upcoming trial

Images of Omar Mateen dead in nightclub could be used in Noor Salman's trial

By Nadeen Yanes - Reporter
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Recently released pictures from inside Pulse nightclub, taken just one hour after mass shooter Omar Mateen was gunned down, show the gunman's body in a pile of rubble. 

The 36 pictures were released after a two-day suppression hearing in federal court in December. 

During that hearing, federal prosecutors pushed to have the pictures of a lifeless Mateen submitted in court in their argument to use them when his wife, Noor Salman, goes to trial next month.

Salman is charged with obstruction and aiding and abetting a terrorist. Prosecutors allege she knew about her husband's plan to attack the nightclub on June 12, 2016, and lied to the FBI in the aftermath of the attack. 

Since the pictures were displayed in court on Dec. 22, they have been published publicly online after being heavily redacted. 

In the photos taken around 6 a.m. on June 12, 2016, a robot is seen removing Mateen's khaki shorts to check for explosives. FBI officials later testified that he wasn't wearing any. Two firearms, including a handgun that fell on Mateen as he went down and a rifle near his right side, are also visible.

News 6 is not publishing photos where blood can be seen on Mateen's head, legs and splotches on his chest.

Photos where the firearms are visible are displayed in the video to the left. Some viewers may consider those images to be graphic, discretion is advised.

An autopsy report released in August 2016 ruled that Mateen was shot eight times during his standoff with law enforcement officers: once in the head, twice in the chest, once in the abdomen, once in the right calf and three times in the right foot.

Though the pictures were released, federal Judge Paul G. Byron has not ruled whether the government will be able to use them at trial. 

Salman's trial is expected to begin March 1.

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