Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born citizen, has been confirmed as the suspect responsible for Sunday’s mass shooting that left at least 50 dead and about 52 others wounded at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Mateen was shot and killed by police following a three-hour standoff with hostages. Though the story is still developing by the minute, there are some disturbing new details about Mateen and what may have motivated him to commit this heinous act.
Mateen was born in New York in 1986 to Afghani parents. Mateen had been “on the radar” of U.S. officials for some time, but for no specific investigation, law enforcement officials told ABC News. Mateen lived in Port St. Lucie, Florida and drove two hours to Orlando to carry out the shooting. Mateen has ties to radical Islamic ideology, though the FBI says “…right now we can’t [confirm] definitively, so we’re still running everything around.”
Mateen’s father Amir Seddique spoke to NBC News on his son’s behalf. “We are saying we’re apologizing for whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he’s taken. We’re in shock just like the rest of the country.” Amir goes on to allege that this had nothing to do with religion, though he recalls his son getting angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a few months prior.
Mateen died at the scene after he was shot by police at about 5 a.m.. He had enclosed himself in the nightclub after opening fire. Mateen had a license to be a security office and a firearms license in Florida, according to the state records. FBI officials are further investigating Mateen’s possible ties to extremist groups.
Mateen leaves behind a 3-year-old son. More details on the shooter to come.