On Sunday morning, a gunman entered Pulse nightclub, a popular hangout for Orlando’s gay community, and opened fire on patrons. According to authorities, the shooter killed 50 and injured 53. The shooter was killed in a gun battle with police. If accurate, Sunday’s shooting is the worst mass-shooting in history, and the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.
Police have named the shooter as Omar Mateen and suspect that the shooting was a “lone wolf” style terror attack. Here’s what we know about the shooter:
Police Suspect Omar Mateen Was An Islamic Extremist
According to the FBI, they are currently looking at all possibilities when it comes motives, but they are leaning toward Islamism as motive.
“We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology [Islamic extremism]. But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around,” said FBI assistant agent in charge of the agency’s Tampa division, Ron Hopper.
“This is an incident, as I see it, that we certainly classify as domestic terror incident,” added Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
According to ABC News, Mateen has been “on the radar” of U.S. officials for some time.
Mateen Was Born in Florida
Mateen has been identified as a 29 year old American citizen from Fort Pierce, Florida with no apparent criminal record. Although Mateen is a natural born citizen, his parents are from Afghanistan.
Mateen Was Recently Angered By Seeing “Two Men Kissing”
Many have noted that the shooting took place at a nightclub that is popular amongst homosexuals during gay pride month. It’s well known that homophobia runs rampant amongst radical Islamists, and have looked at the nature of the target for some insight into the shooter.
According to the Independent, Mateen’s father suggested that his son did, in fact, show signs of homophobia.
Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News his son had become angry a couple of months ago when he saw two men kissing in Miami, and he believed that could be related to the shooting.
He said the incident “has nothing to do with religion”.
Mateen Was Trained In Firearms And Had A Firearms License
According to Florida State records, Omar Mateen had a license to be a security officer and a firearms license.