Omar Mir Seddique Mateen has been named as the terrorist gunman who killed 50 people and wounded 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, CBS News reports. Mateen was killed at the club by police.
Tom Cleary, Heavy reported that Mateen, 29, is a U.S. citizen of Afghani descent from Port St. Lucie, Florida, according to CBS News. He has ties to radical Islamic ideology, CBS reports. His name was confirmed by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson at a press conference.
Port St. Lucie is about 125 miles away from Orlando.
Police have not yet said why Mateen attacked the Pulse club. His father told MSNBC that the shooting was not about his son’s religion, but that his son became very angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami months ago. He said “we are apologizing for the whole incident.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1) Omar Mir Seddique Mateen Exchanged Fire With a Police Officer Outside the Club Before Going Inside & Taking Hostages
Orlando mass shooting update from Pulse FB page. pic.twitter.com/a20s0VTrBR
— Erick Weber, AWARDS ACE (@ErickWeber) June 12, 2016
The gunman, Omar Mateen, was engaged in a shootout with police outside the night club at about 2 a.m., police said at a press conference. Mateen then entered the night club and took hostages.
“The officer engaged in a gun battle with that suspect. The suspect at some point went back inside the club and more shots were fired. This did turn into a hostage situation,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at a press conference.
Mateen was armed with an “assault-type” rifle, a handgun and a “suspicious device,” authorities said.
Management at Pulse took to Facebook to warn people to stay away. Everyone is being asked to stay out of the area.
The attack occurred during Latin Night at Pulse, the one of the largest gay clubs in Orlando.
Kenya Michaels was scheduled to perform at midnight and the shooting took place around 2 a.m. Michaels’ colleagues, who were also at Pulse, are OK, according to posts that were making the rounds on social media. Roxy Andrews posted on Facebook that she was in Tampa and was fine, and that Axel Andrews and Angelica Michelle Jones made it out OK.
Fans of Michaels were on Facebook, posting and requesting an update on the performer’s status. They were asking in response to her post about performing if she was safe. It was later determined that Michaels made it out safe also.
The nightclub was at full capacity when the shooting began. One person, who was at Pulse, posted on Twitter that he was just able to get out, but others were still inside when he fled.
Thank youu i jumped out theres people still hiding inside the closets that the shooters dont know theyre in there https://t.co/NoOIud4Hxe
— 𝕴𝖓𝖋𝖆𝖒𝖔𝖚𝖘 𝕵𝖚𝖆𝖓 (@InfamousJuan_) June 12, 2016
2) He Was Killed by a SWAT Team in an Effort to Rescue Hostages
Sun is coming up. Shooter is dead, scene still very active pic.twitter.com/yJy0aNHVpo
— Stewart Moore (@Stewartmoore) June 12, 2016
Mateen died at the scene after he was shot by police at about 5 a.m.. He had barricaded himself in the nightclub after opening fire. Witnesses reported that some of their friends were hiding in dressing rooms and bathrooms, trying to stay safe.
A video from the scene appears to show the moment the SWAT team engaged in a final gun battle with the suspect:
— Nic Hornstein (@nichornstein) June 12, 2016
An officer was wounded during the shootout, but was saved by his Kevlar helmet, police said. More than 30 hostages were rescued from the club.
Mateen has no known criminal history, according to CBS News.
It is not clear if he was known to federal authorities prior to the attack.
Law enforcement sources tell @cbsnews the Orlando gay club shooter Omar Mateen of Port Saint Lucie FL has no apparently criminal history.
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) June 12, 2016
3) The FBI Says They Are Investigating the Shooter’s Background & Possible Connections to Islamic Terrorism
Local FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Ron Hopper said at the press conference that there are “suggestions” the gunman “may have leanings” toward Jihadist ideology. Hopper had been asked about whether the shooter was connected to radical Islamic terrorism.
Hopper said they can’t say definitively whether the gunmen is connected to that ideology. He said we’re looking into all angles right now.”
Police were searching Mateen’s home in Port St. Lucie on Sunday morning:
— WPTV (@WPTV) June 12, 2016
ISIS supporters and sympathizers on Twitter posted messages after the shooting, but there have been no official claims by the Islamic State terror organization.
4) Mateen Had Security Officer & Firearms Licenses in Florida
According to American News – a shooter has barricaded himself inside downtown Orlando Nightclub Pulse pic.twitter.com/ytsdirqJYl
— Metro Radio News (@MetroRadioNews) June 12, 2016
The FBI says the gunman was “organized and well-prepared.” Police have not released further details about the plot or whether anyone else was involved.
Police have asked anyone with information about the shooting and the gunman to come forward.
“If you have some information, no matter how small you think it may be, that would relate back to today’s events, please share it with us,” Hopper said. “I would urge you to call the 1-800-CALL-FBI public access line, we have phones standing by to take any information or lead whatsoever.”
Hopper said they will be conducting interviews and a huge FBI presence will be seen in coming days.
The shooting comes one night after former Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was gunned down outside of Plaza Live, about four miles away from Pulse. The gunman in that shooting, Kevin Loibl, fatally shot himself, police said.
But police said the shootings are not connected.
5) Mateen’s Parents Are From Afghanistan & He Was Married in 2009
Walking to ORMC now. I'm ok. Friend got shot. I've never seen so much blood and mayhem or been so scared ever. pic.twitter.com/KyGhQGmWWQ
— John PA (@lakecitymedman) June 12, 2016
Both of Mateen’s parents are originally from Afghanistan, according to CBS News.
Mateen was born in New York, NBC News reports.
He was married in 2009, public records show. It is not clear if he was still married at the time of the attack.
Mateen is a registered Democrat who has also lived in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to online records.
He was also a notary public in Florida, but his license, issued in 2008, expired in 2012, records show.