Omar Mateen: 'What we know about the Orlando gunman'
Omar Mateen: 'What we know about the Orlando gunman'

Omar Mateen: ‘What we know about the Orlando gunman’

Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old gunman accused of killing dozens of people in Orlando on Sunday, was a security guard, the divorced father of a 3-year-old and, in school, someone who acted “dorky.”

He also was an extremist whose outspoken interest in terrorism twice put him on the FBI’s radar screen.

On Sunday morning, he became something far larger: a lone gunman who authorities say was responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

He called 911 from outside a gay nightclub just south of downtown Orlando, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, authorities said, then began his assault.

He opened fire inside the club, stepped outside, where he exchanging gunfire with an Orlando police officers, then rushed back inside.

By the time a police SWAT team stormed the building three hours later, they found 50 people dead or dying and 53 wounded. Mateen was one of those killed, and police said he died in a shootout with them.

He had been armed with two guns – a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol and a .223-caliber assault rifle — according to federal law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, originally from New Jersey, who now lives in Colorado. Sources said they met online eight years ago, got married in Florida, lived briefly in Fort Pierce, Florida and divorced in 2011. The marriage lasted only a few months before she left, sources said. She is now engaged to someone else in Colorado.

Yusufiy said Mateen showed no signs of radical beliefs while they were married. She said she divorced him after he became abusive.

“He was very short-tempered and he would often get into fights and arguments with his parents but because I guess was the only one in his life, most of the violence was toward me,” Yusufiy said.

His father said he is “in shock like the whole country.” He says he wasn’t aware of anything his son might have been planning. Mir Seddique told NBC News that his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks that may be related to the shooting. He says it has nothing to do with religion.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Orlando, lauding “brother Omar Mateen, one of the soldiers of the Caliphate in America,” for the killings.

Thus far, however, there has been no indication that Mateen had any tangible connection to the terrorist group prior to the shooting spree.


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