Fifty people were killed and another 53 were injured after a gunman with suspected ties to radical Islam opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning.
Here’s what we know so far about the alleged killer:
— Doug Saunders (@crimeshutterbug) June 12, 2016
1. Gunman identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen
CBS News reports that the nightclub killer has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, from Port Saint Lucie, Florida. He was reportedly employed as a security guard, according to CNN.
2. Omar Mateen was born to Afghan parents
Matten was reportedly born to Afghan parents in 1986.
3. Omar Mateen had no known criminal history; police are investigating possible links to Islamic terrorism.
According to CBS, Mateen has no known criminal history. However, law enforcement is investigating the man’s possible links to radical Islam, with one source telling the outlet that police are “leaning towards Islamic terrorism” as the motive for the attack.
NBC’s Pete Williams reports that terrorist was on a “watch list” over associations w “suspicious” ppl several yrs ago.
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 12, 2016
FBI Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper told reporters at a Sunday morning press conference: “We do have suggestions that the individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively.”
4. Omar Mateen’s attack may have been inspired by ISIS.
According to the Gateway Pundit, an ISIS-connected online group warned about a specific threat to the state of Florida just three days prior to the attack.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Mateen carried an assault rifle and a handgun and may have been wearing an explosive “device.”
— Nic Hornstein (@nichornstein) June 12, 2016
5. Omar Mateen was killed in a shootout with police who were trying to rescue hostages.
A uniformed police officer exchanged gunfire with Mateen outside the club at around 2 a.m., reports NBC News, before the gunman entered the club and took hostages. At around 5 a.m., law enforcement raided the club, rescuing at least 30 hostages and killing Mateen in the process.
6. Omar Mateen’s father says son became angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami several months ago.
WATCH: Father of shooter in Orlando club tells NBC News: “We are apologizing for the whole incident”https://t.co/SJiy3pFAYJ
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 12, 2016
Mir Seddique, the father of Omar Mateen, told NBC News in a statement: “We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”
Mateen’s father added that his son became enraged after seeing two men kiss in Miami several months ago and believes that may be related to the shooting.
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