On Saturday night, 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen perpetrated the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others.
During his attack on Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, he pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a 911 call made from the club’s bathroom. Mateen has reportedly on the FBI’s radar for years — they interviewed him on two terror-related cases that were eventually closed. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said in a statement, "Those interviews turned out to be inconclusive, so there was nothing to keep the investigation going.”
In one of the cases, Mateen was questioned over his connection to an American suicide bomber. Hopper shared, "We determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or threat at that time.”
In the first case, he was investigated by the FBI for making "inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible terrorist ties,” but they were "unable to verify the substance of his comments.” Mateen worked as a security officer at G4S Secure Solutions. One of his co-workers, Dan Gilroy, who worked with him from 2014-2015, said, "He was an angry person, violent in nature, and a bigot to almost every class of person.”
Gilroy’s description of Mateen’s violent nature is very similar to that given by Mateen's ex-wife Sitora Yusufiy, who claimed he beat her until she left the marriage with the help of her parents in 2009. She told the Washington Post, "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.”
On Sunday, she reflected on the last time they would ever see each other, saying, “He tried to reach in his back pocket. I don’t know if he had a gun with him, but my mother felt that and she screamed out. That was the last time I saw him.”
Yusufiy added, “I had let that chapter of my life go a long time ago,” she said. “It’s somebody that hurt me and traumatized me.”
During their marriage, she was apparently not allowed to call her parents and forced to hand over her paycheck, which she earned from her job as a day care teacher. She commented, "He was totally two different people sometimes, and would turn and abuse me, out of nowhere, when I was sleeping."
According to Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, seeing two men kiss in public is what sparked Mateen to target LGBT people. The shooter reportedly made anti-gay comments to Yusufiy, who said, “There were definitely moments when he’d express his intolerance toward homosexuals.”
In court papers obtained by “Extra," Mateen and Yusufiy divorced in July 2011 after marrying in 2009. He went on to marry Noor Zahi Salman, who is the mother of his three-year-old son.
Since news broke of Mateen’s involvement in the shooting, Salman has reportedly gone into hiding and deleted her social media accounts. Though she has not publicly commented on the attacks, she has told authorities that Mateen was recently "scouting Downtown Disney and Pulse for attacks,” according to People.
Back in 2006, Mateen, who was born in New York and raised in Florida, also filed court papers to change his hame from Omar Mir Seddique to Omar Mir Seddique Mateen.