The horrific Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting left over 50 people dead and at least that many people injured. Omar Saddiqui Mateen reportedly tore through the building with an assault rifle, a handgun, and an explosive device, which — thankfully — was removed by authorities in a controlled detonation. President Obama called the massacre an event filled with “terror and hate,” and Donald Trump spoke out in his own Trumpy way for reasons unknown. Everyone has an opinion on how to deal with continued mass shootings and overall gun violence, but the investigation will move forward into what could have possessed one individual to commit such an act.
Reports indicated that the gunman may have phoned 911 to pledge allegiance to ISIS during the slaughter. Mateen’s father spoke up to relay how his son expressed disgust after seeing two gay men kissing. Now, The Washington Post has dug even further into earlier reported facts. Mateen did indeed hold security guard and gun licenses. The paper also spoke with his ex-wife, who revealed that Mateen was emotionally volatile during their brief marriage. She spoke anonymously to protect her own safety:
“He was not a stable person. He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
The ex-wife said she met Mateen through an online dating service and eventually agreed to move to Florida to be with him. The two married in March 2009 and moved into the Fort Pierce condo that Mateen’s family owned. “He seemed like a normal human being,” said the woman, who divorced Mateen in 2011.
Mateen’s ex-wife also relayed a different view beyond the gunman’s own 911 call. She never witnessed a devoutly religious nature from her ex-husband, who used to spend copious amounts of time on fitness. But there’s no way of telling what happened between 2011 and now or whether he eventually became sympathetic to the Islamic State.
Florida Today adds more details from Mateen’s former co-worker, Daniel Gilroy, who recalls bizarre details about the man who would go on to commit mass murder:
Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages – 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.
“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” Gilroy said Sunday, “and the company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”
Gilroy further relays that he wasn’t at all surprised to see Mateen’s face on the news in conjunction with this story. The FBI will continue to dig into details of Mateen’s background, but in the meantime, these two people who knew him are providing a terrifying portrait. Unfortunately, no one recognized how dangerous this guy was until it was too late.