TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities are going through the belongings of Orlando massacre shooter Omar Mateen to try to learn more about the gunman and his motive for opening fire inside a gay nightclub early Sunday morning, killing 50 people.
A law enforcement official says Mateen was known to the FBI before the incident and had been looked at by agents within the last few years. The official spoke to The Associated Press Sunday about the shooting and was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and on spoke on condition of anonymity. The official says the matter for which Mateen came under investigation was “open and closed pretty quickly.”
There are reports that Mateen supported ISIS — Mateen called 911 before the shooting to pledge his allegiance to ISIS. Florida Senator Bill Nelson said on Sunday afternoon that the FBI wants anyone who knew Mateen to come forward and contact them.
“He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.” — Omar Mateen’s ex-wife
There was a heavy law enforcement presence outside Omar Mateen’s Fort Pierce condo on Sunday afternoon. The condo is about 120 miles away from Orlando.
According to WFLA, Mateen’s father said the shooting had nothing to do with religion. Mateen’s father said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple months ago and thinks that might be related to the shooting.
Mateen’s ex-wife told the Washington Post that she met him online about four years ago and moved to Florida to marry him in March of 2009. She said he later became abusive.
“He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that,” she told the Washington Post.
His ex-wife said that Mateen was born in New York but his family was from Afghanistan. She identified him as the man seen in photos on MySpace and said he worked as a guard at a facility for juvenile delinquents. She did not want to be identified over fears for her safety.
The suspected Orlando nightclub gunman had been licensed as a private security officer in Florida.
State records show suspected shooter Omar Mateen held the firearms license since at least 2011. It was set to expire in September 2017.
It wasn’t immediately clear where, if anywhere, Mateen had worked as a security officer. An armed guard license in Florida requires 28 hours of classroom training by a licensed instructor.