This week, the world continues to mourn over the 49 people shot and killed, and the many more that were injured on Sunday morning at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This is the deadliest mass shooting in the United State that the country has seen since the 9/11 attack according to authorities.
The Man Behind the Nightclub Shootings
Omar Mateen, 29, was an American-born man, who grew up in New York. He was a security guard who was the son of Afghan immigrants. He had been married twice and was the father of a 3-year-old boy.
While he was involved in two ongoing investigations in connection on ISIS, however, in both cases there was not enough evidence and he was cleared. He was not under surveillance or investigation at the time of the attack.
At this point it looks like Mateen was working alone. “We see no indication that this was part of a plot directed from outside the United States” stated, Director of the F.B.I., James Coney.
According to CNN, it was Mateen that called 911 and said that he pledges allegiance to ISIS. According to a U.S. official, that is when he mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers and referred to the Al Nusra brothers as his, “homeboys.”
Identifying Mateen’s true loyalty still is in question as Al Nusra and ISIS are rivals.
The Orlando Police shot and killed Mateen at the night club filled with over 300 people. The shooting started about 2 a.m. Sunday with an assault rifle and a pistol. He killed 49 people and wounded at least 53, according to police. It was his job as a security guard that gave him the license to buy weapons. He legally purchased the handgun and AR-15 rifle just days before the attack.
Mateen’s ex-wife was interviewed. She stated that when they first were married, Mateen was a family man and was kind. It was a few months into their marriage that she started to see a change in his personality. She labeled Mateen as “Bi-Polar” but had not been formally diagnosed. She stated that he started to get angry with her. He isolated her from her family and soon became “physically abusive.” While she thought that Mateen was religious, she doesn’t think that played into the attack.
A colleague, Dan Gilroy, that worked with Mateen as a security guard, told CNN, described Mateen saying, “He was an angry person, violent in nature, and a bigot to almost every class of person.”
Information continues to come in regarding the details of the victims and what exactly happened inside the Pulse Nightclub that night. To view a list of names released of the victims and a brief description about each person.
What Was the Motivation Behind the Nightclub Shootings?
When tragedy strikes like this, it only makes sense to try to find meaning and understanding. Many people are still speculating the exact motivation behind this massacre. Was it all connected to ISIS? Was it a simply an act of hate? Does mental illness play a role at all? Was it a combination of all? Investigators are continuing to find more clues to what caused Mateen to open fire on Sunday morning.
What are your thoughts on the Orlando nightclub shootings?