Early Sunday, A gunman opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Orlando, Floridaa, killing 50 people and leaving 53 others hospitalized in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Gunman identified as Omar Mateen; referenced ISIS in 911 call
Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen, has been identified as the deceased gunman, officials said Sunday.
According to the FBI, Mateen pledged his support for ISIS and invoked the names of the Boston marathon bombers in 911 calls made amid his attack on the gay nightclub.
Direct links have not yet been established between Mateen and ISIS, but the terror group claimed responsibility for the shooting through a statement via its Amaq news agency.
Mateen, 29, was born in New York. His parents are from Afghanistan. The family later moved to Florida, according to published reports and he has recently lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., in St. Lucie County, which is roughly 123 miles south of Orlando.
Mir Seddique, the suspected shooter’s father, told NBC News that the mass shooting had “nothing to do with religion.” He also said Mateen got angry when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami a couple of months ago and that he thinks that may have been a trigger in the shooting.
“We are apologizing for the whole incident,” he told NBC News. “We weren’t aware of any action he [was] taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”