Dad, ex-wife, coworker describe Pulse shooter
Speaking to reporters Monday morning, Seddique Mir Mateen — the father of gunman Omar Mateen — said the attack was against his principles and against what he taught his son. (June 13) AP
Orlando shooter's father condemns massacre, but also gays
The father of the suspect in the shooting of 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando condemned the massacre, but appeared to imply that God will punish gay people.
Federal authorities identified the gunman at the Pulse club as Omar Mateen, 29, a New York-born resident of Fort Pierce, Fla.
His father Seddique Mateen posted a video in theDari language of Afghanistan on his Facebook page early Monday.
In a message to the people of Afghanistan, he said: “I don’t know what made him (do this), I have no idea, I had no idea that he felt resentful in his heart and had gone to the gay (he used the derogatory term hamjensbazi) club and killed men and women there,” according to the Guardian.
He described his son as “a very good and well-educated son with a wife and a child.”
He said: “I am very sad and I’ve announced this to the American people as well. Why did he do this act during this holy month of Ramadan. On the topic of being hamjensbazi, punishment and the things that they do, God will give the punishment."
“This is not the issue for a follower of God and he (Omar) that did this has greatly saddened me. I wanted you to know this. God give all youth complete health to keep the real path of the holy religion of Islam in mind,” he said.
Mateen senior, an Afghan who lives in Florida, holds strong political views including support for the Afghan Taliban, the Washington Post reported.
The Guardian reported that he told it in a phone interview that his son did not identify with the family's Afghan heritage.
“Omar was an American and not an Afghan-American. He was born in the U.S. and never went to Afghanistan. He attended school here, worked here and his whole life was here,” he said.
“If he was alive we could ask why he did this. He never showed any signs of mental illness or links to extremist groups. No father or family should ever have to go through this kind pain,” he told the Guardian.
Mateen senior told NBC News on Sunday that his son became angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a few months ago.
"We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid, and he got very angry," he said.
"They were kissing each other and touching each other, and he said: 'Look at that. In front of my son, they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom, and men were kissing each other."
He told NBC the attack "had nothing to do with religion."
Sitora Yusufiy, the ex-wife of Omar Mateen, the man who killed 50 people and wounded 53 others during a shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub early Sunday morning described him as violent, "very short-tempered" and physically abusive. KUSA
Ex-wife: Orlando shooter 'very short-tempered,' violent
The ex-wife of the slain Orlando nightclub shooter described him late Sunday as a mentally and emotionally unstable — and possibly bipolar — spouse who physically abused her during their brief marriage.
Speaking to reporters from her home in Boulder, Colo., Sitora Yusufiy said the couple were together just four months before she fled their Florida home and filed for divorce.
Yusufiy said she met Omar Mateen online — she didn’t say how long ago they met, but The Washington Post reported Sunday that the couple met about eight years ago.
“In the beginning he was a normal being that cared about family, loved to joke, loved to have fun,” she said. “But then, a few months after we were married, I saw his instability and I saw that he was bipolar and he would get mad out of nowhere. That’s when I started worrying about my safety.”
An aspiring policeman, Mateen worked in a center for juvenile delinquents in Fort Pierce, Fla., she said. “He was working up and getting experience to become a police officer.”
She described Mateen as “very short-tempered” and said he would often get into arguments with his parents. “But because, I guess, I was the only one in his life, most of the violence was towards me at that time."
He soon “started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them,” she said.
“When he would get in his tempers, he would express hate for things, toward everything.”
Yusufiy said she “tried to see the good in him even then, but my family was very tuned-in to what I was going through and decided to visit me and rescue me out of that situation.”
During the “rescue,” Yusufiy said, her family “had to pull me out of his arms.”
She left all her belongings behind, filed a police report and never looked back. Over the next year and a half, she said, they worked through a divorce, she in New Jersey, he in Florida. Since then, she said, she has had no contact with Mateen.
“I have cut him off. I blocked everything. My family actually warned him that if he tried and contact me, they would go to the authorities.”
Asked to explain his violent outburst on Sunday, she suggested, “emotional instability. Sickness. He was mentally unstable and mentally ill — that’s the only explanation that I could give. And he was obviously disturbed, deeply, and traumatized.”
She described Mateen as someone who “did follow religion. He did practice and he had his faith,” she said, but she didn’t explicitly say that his religious beliefs prompted the shooting.
Mateen had “a history with steroids,” she said. “I don’t know if that caused it. I’m sure it had something to do with it.”
But she added, “There was no sign of any of this at all.”
Orlando shooter's employer G4S found nothing of concern
The security firm that employed Omar Mateen, the suspect in the shooting deaths of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, said it carried out two background checks on him and found nothing of concern.
G4S said it had employed Mateen since Sept. 2007 and that he was off-duty at the time of the shooting early Sunday.
Mateen was an armed security officer for G4S and the firm was trying to ascertain whether any guns used in the attack were related to his employment, Reuters reported.
The company, the largest security firm in the world, operates in more than 110 countries and has over 623,000 employees. G4S is headquartered in Britain.
"We are deeply shocked by this tragic event,” said John Kenning, the company’s regional CEO for North America in a statement.
He said Mateen worked at a gated retirement community in South Florida.
"Mateen underwent company screening and background checks when he was recruited in 2007 and the check revealed nothing of concern. His screening was repeated in 2013 with no findings,” Kenning said
Orlando FBI chief Ron Hopper said agents investigated Mateen in 2013 and in 2014 regarding terror threats, but lacked sufficient evidence in both cases to pursue charges.
“In 2013, we learned that Mateen had been questioned by the FBI but that the inquiries were subsequently closed. We were not made aware of any alleged connections between Mateen and terrorist activities, and were unaware of any further FBI investigations,” Kenning said.
He said the firm was cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of this unspeakable tragedy, and their friends and families," he added.
G4S has been at the center of several security-related controversies in recent years including in 2012 when more than 3,000 British military personnel were drafted in after G4S failed to provide enough security personnel for the London 2012 Olympics.
In January, a BBC investigation claimed G4S guards allegedly assaulted teenagers at a detention center in Kent, southern England. Several staff members were fired. The firm is now selling its children’s services operations in Britain.
Co-worker: Omar Mateen homophobic, 'unhinged'
A former Fort Pierce police officer who once worked with 29-year-old Omar Mateen, the assailant in an Orlando nightclub shooting that left at least 50 dead, said he was "unhinged and unstable."
Daniel Gilroy said he worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift with G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months in 2014-15. Mateen took over from him for a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.
Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages — 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.
"I quit because everything he said was toxic," Gilroy said Sunday, "and the company wouldn't do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people."
Gilroy said this shooting didn't come as a surprise to him.
PGA Village resident Eleanora Dorsi, however, recognized Mateen's face as a friendly one who guarded her gated community in western Port St. Lucie.
"Whenever I saw him, he was very polite," Dorsi said Sunday from her summer home in Connecticut. "He was always a gentleman."
Dorsi, who has lived in the community since 2011, estimated that she saw Mateen a dozen times through the years, but he left a big impression on her because of his chivalry, she said.
"He even helped me with the car once, so I can't say he was creepy," she said.
Mateen helped her work the windshield cleaning function in her new car one time, she said.
Dorsi frequently gave Mateen and other guards at PGA Village pizza, cookies and candy for their hard work, she said. The last time she saw Mateen was a year ago, Dorsi said.
"He was always smiling and just seemed like a very nice, positive person," Dorsi said.
It sent chills down Dorsi's spine to imagine the man charged with keeping her and other locals safe carried out the deadliest mass shooting in the nation's history, she said.
"You would never ever think that he would have done anything like this," Dorsi said. "Scary, scary. Very scary. I think everyone feels like that right now," she added. "It hits too close to home."