According to news updates 50 people were killed and 53 injured at the mass shooting in the gay nightclub in Florida. Omar Saddiqui Mateen has been identified as the gunman who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, two law enforcement officials told CNN.
The 29-year-old suspect was known to the FBI, the officials said — one of hundreds of people on the agency’s radar suspected of being ISIS sympathizers, according to two law enforcement officials, Fox News reports.
|Omar Saddiqui Mateen|
The FBI investigated Mateen for possibly having ties or being a sympathizer to Islamic extremism, according to a law enforcement official and a U.S. official. There were two cases opened on Mateen in the past, the law enforcement official told CNN. The investigations didn’t find evidence to charge him with anything, the officials said.
Mateen, who was killed by police, is from Fort Pierce, Florida, the officials said.
The gunman was armed with a handgun, an assault rifle and an unknown number of rounds, Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters.
Mir Seddique is the father of Mateen. Seddique told NBC News that his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago and thinks that may be related to the shooting.
Seddique says: “We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We are in shock like the whole country.”
The father also says the incident has nothing to do with religion.
Private security guard
A law enforcement source told CNN that Mateen worked as a private security guard. He rented a car and drove to Orlando to carry out the attack, the source said.
FBI teams and local law enforcement are working to clear Mateen’s apartment, a federal law enforcement source said.
Agents are going through the apartment with bomb squads and investigating the materials there, the source said.
Police are also in the process of clearing the suspect’s vehicle, a van outside the nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said.
While sources revealed some details about the suspect Sunday morning, authorities said they weren’t yet ready to release the suspect’s name officially.
In response to a question to whether the shooter may have had a connection to radical Islamic terrorism, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said investigators are “looking into all angles right now.”
“We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings toward that particular ideology but we can’t say definitively,” Hopper said.
Asked later by reporters why authorities were quick to point to terrorism rather than a hate crime, Hopper said more details would be revealed later.
“Early on, when we had possible identification made, we run everything to ground, whether it winds up being the actual individual or not. And so, as I mentioned earlier, I can’t say exactly who the suspect or deceased shooter is. Once we’re able to do that, once the notification is made, then more details will be able to be shared, most likely from our counterterrorism division up at FBI headquarters,” Hopper said.