The gunman who opened fire and massacred at least 50 and injured 53 people in America’s worst mass shooting in history has been identified. Twenty-nine-year-old Omar Siddiqui Mateen has been named as the gunman. Congressman Alan Grayson during a press conference named Omar Mateen as the gunman.
Congressman Adam Schiff stated that the attack appears to be an “ISIS-inspired act of terrorism.”He said Mateen declared his allegiance to ISIS before the assault. Mateen also mentioned Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who committed the Boston Marathon Bombing, during his telephone call.
In a statement from President Barack Obama on Sunday, Obama said, “the shooting was an ‘act of terror’ and an ‘act of hate.’ ” He continued, saying the attack is a “sobering reminder” that an attack on any American is an attack “on all of us,” via the Chicago Tribune.
It is the worst mass shooting in American history.
What we know on the gunman follows.
Omar Mateen, a U.S.-born Muslim, born in New York to parents from Afghanistan and had live in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Mateen was on an FBI list of suspected ISIS sympathizers since 2013, but they could not make a case against him, according to Business Insider.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, was employed by H4S Global Security in Florida since 2007. Mateen was licensed to carry firearms. The company confirmed he was a security guard in a statement sent to the Palm Beach Post. H4S is under investigation for transporting illegal immigrants across the border in Phoenix.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said the suspect was armed with a handgun and an AR-15-style assault rifle.
According to public records, the shooter was married twice. It is not known at this time if he was still married. Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Alisherzoda Yusufiy, stated to the Washington Post that sometimes he became violent to her. She also continued to state she had met him online and moved to Florida to be with him. Yusufiy credits her parents for saving her life.
Public records also indicate that the gunman purchased a house with his wife, Noor Zahi Salman. The couple possibly have a 3-year-old son. FBI and local law enforcement have been at the gunman’s house all day, trying to gather as much information as they can.
The house is in Port St. Lucie, about 125 miles away from where the incident occurred. The gunman rented a car and drove to the nightclub.
Mateen was investigated by the FBI in 2015 for knowing Moner Abusalha. Moner Abusalha is known as ” The First American Suicide Bomber” in Syria. The investigation concluded that the two didn’t know each other well. They had a connection through Facebook on an anti-gay video.
The gunman’s father, Seddique Mateen, apologized for his son’s actions. Seddique Mateen states that the shooting has nothing to do with religion.
He also hosts a TV show named “Durand Jirga,” and supports the Taliban and is anti-Pakistan. The name “Durand Jirga” stands for the Durand line, the long disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is a U.S.-based Afghan satellite channel.
Seddique Mateen also wants to be President of Afghanistan. Just hours before the mass shooting, he posted videos pretending to be the Afghan president.
A survivor of the Orlando mass shooting, Jeannette McCoy, 37-years-old, said, “this guy wanted to kill all of us.” McCoy continued to state, “she narrowly dodged death as the gunman walked toward her and her friend on the dance floor and started blasting away,” according to the New York Post.
Christine Leinonen has been waiting to hear about her son, Christopher Leinonen. Christopher had gone to Pulse with his friends. Her son’s boyfriend had multiple gunshot wounds, but that is all she knows. Christine Leinonen told ABC News that she woke about 3 a.m, an hour after it happened. The last time she talked her son, she told him that she loved him.
Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated her 90th birthday this weekend, and other world leaders have been sending their condolences to those affected. Queen Elizabeth sent a message stating, “Prince Philip and I have been shocked by the events in Orlando,” she said in a statement to People. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected.”
In the next few days and coming weeks, we will learn more information on the gunman.
[Photo by Chris O’Meara/AP Images]