Omar Mateen: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
9:10 am EDT, June 12, 2016
By Tom Cleary, Heavy.com
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen has been named as the gunman who killed 50 people and wounded 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, CBS News reports.
He was later killed by police after taking hostages at the LGBT club. The shooting, carried out with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun, is the deadliest in American history.
Mateen, 29, is a U.S. citizen of Afghani descent from Port St. Lucie, Florida, according to CBS News. He has ties to radical Islamic ideology, CBS reports. His name was confirmed by Congressman Alan Grayson at a press conference.
Port St. Lucie is about 125 miles away from Orlando. TMZ has confirmed a MySpace page, containing photos from several years ago of Mateen, belongs to the gunman.
Police have not yet said why Mateen attacked the Pulse club. His father told MSNBC that the shooting was not about his son’s religion, but that his son became very angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami months ago. He said “we are apologizing for the whole incident.”
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country,” Mir Seddique, his father, told NBC News.
Mateen worked as a security guard and drove to Orlando to carry out the attack, CNN’s Evan Perez reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mateen ‘May Have Leanings’ Toward Radical Islam & Was Reportedly the Target of 2 Federal Investigations
Local FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Ron Hopper said at the press conference that there are “suggestions” the gunman “may have leanings” toward Jihadist ideology. Hopper had been asked about whether the shooter was connected to radical Islamic terrorism.
Hopper said they can’t say definitively whether the gunmen is connected to that ideology. He said we’re looking into all angles right now.”
Police were searching Mateen’s home in Port St. Lucie on Sunday morning:
Mateen has no known criminal history, according to CBS News.
But The Daily Beast, citing a senior law enforcement source, said Mateen was a person of interest in law enforcement investigations in 2013 and 2014. The news website reports the FBI opened an investigation into Mateen at some point, but closed it “when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.”
The source told The Daily Beast he’s a “known quantity” who has “been on the radar before.”
CNN reports that Mateen was a known ISIS sympathizer.
The shooting happened during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a time during ISIS has instructed its supporters to carry out terror attacks around the world, according to CNN.
See more photos of Mateen at the link below:
Read more about Omar Mateen in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:
2. He Had Security Officer & Firearms Licenses in Florida
Mateen had a license to be a security office and a firearms license in Florida, according to the state records.
U.S. Rep. Peter King, of New York, told CNN that the gunman was “trained in the use of weapons.”
He worked as a security officer in Port St. Lucie and had a criminal justice degree from a local college. He is pictured wearing NYPD shirts in multiple photos on MySpace, but the NYPD told TMZ that Mateen had no affiliation to the department. The souvenir shirts could be bought at several stores, the NYPD said.
The FBI says the gunman was “organized and well-prepared.” Police have not released further details about the plot or whether anyone else was involved.
Police have asked anyone with information about the shooting and the gunman to come forward.
“If you have some information, no matter how small you think it may be, that would relate back to today’s events, please share it with us,” Hopper said. “I would urge you to call the 1-800-CALL-FBI public access line, we have phones standing by to take any information or lead whatsoever.”
Hopper said they will be conducting interviews and a huge FBI presence will be seen in coming days.
A man who answered the phone at Mateen’s home, Mustafa Abasin, told NBC News “we are in shock and we are sad,” but didn’t say how he knew Mateen. He said he is helping investigators.
The shooting comes one night after former Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was gunned down outside of Plaza Live, about four miles away from Pulse. The gunman in that shooting, Kevin Loibl, fatally shot himself, police said.
But police said the shootings are not connected.
Islamic State sympathizers on Twitter have begun to tweet anti-LGBT messages with the hashtag #Pulse following the shooting at the Orlando nightclub where 50 people were killed by gunman Omar Mateen.
3. He Was Married in 2009 & Divorced in 2011, But Has a 3-Year-Old Son
Both of Mateen’s parents are originally from Afghanistan, according to CBS News.
Mateen was born in New York, NBC News reports.
He was married in 2009 to a woman from New Jersey, public records show. They divorced in 2011. He had a 3-year-old son, according to NBC News.
His father said that Mateen was angered because he saw two men kissing in front of his young son, NBC News reports.
Mateen is a registered Democrat who has also lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to online records.
He was also a notary public in Florida, but his license, issued in 2008, expired in 2012, records show.
Mir Seddique is the father of Omar Mateen, who is the prime suspect in the mass shooting that has killed 50 people in an Orlando nightclub.
4. He Exchanged Fire With a Police Officer Outside the Club Before Going Inside & Taking Hostages
The gunman, Omar Mateen, was engaged in a shootout with police outside the night club at about 2 a.m., police said at a press conference. Mateen then entered the night club and took hostages.
“The officer engaged in a gun battle with that suspect. The suspect at some point went back inside the club and more shots were fired. This did turn into a hostage situation,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a press conference.
Mateen was armed with an “assault-type” rifle, a handgun and a “suspicious device,” authorities said.
Management at Pulse took to Facebook to warn people to stay away. Everyone is being asked to stay out of the area.
The attack occurred during Latin Night at Pulse, the one of the largest gay clubs in Orlando.
Kenya Michaels was scheduled to perform at midnight and the shooting took place around 2 a.m. Michaels’ colleagues, who were also at Pulse, are OK, according to posts that were making the rounds on social media. Roxy Andrews posted on Facebook that she was in Tampa and was fine, and that Axel Andrews and Angelica Michelle Jones made it out OK.
Fans of Michaels were on Facebook, posting and requesting an update on the performer’s status. They were asking in response to her post about performing if she was safe. It was later determined that Michaels made it out safe also.
Islamic State sympathizers have begun tweeting “Orlando is Burning” following the shooting at the Orlando nightclub where 50 people were dead. Investigators have classified the incident as a terrorist attack.
5. He Was Killed by a SWAT Team in an Effort to Rescue Hostages
Mateen died at the scene after he was shot by police at about 5 a.m.. He had barricaded himself in the nightclub after opening fire. Witnesses reported that some of their friends were hiding in dressing rooms and bathrooms, trying to stay safe.
A video from the scene appears to show the moment the SWAT team engaged in a final gun battle with the suspect:
Authorities had been in contact with Mateen before the raid, but have not said what that communication was.
An officer was wounded during the shootout, but was saved by his Kevlar helmet, police said. More than 30 hostages were rescued from the club.
Police said there was blood everywhere inside Pulse, and veteran SWAT officers were shaken by the scene.
Several people were shot at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The gunman has been killed. Watch videos from the scene here.