The man behind the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history mentioned ISIS in a 911 call during the attack, but details are still emerging about his ties to the terror group.
Omar Mateen is the person who authorities say killed at least 50 people in a massacre at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday.
The 29-year-old, who died in a shootout with police, lived in Fort Pierce, Florida. Bomb squad teams, FBI agents and police combed his apartment there for hours on Sunday. Investigators haven’t revealed what they found.
They also haven’t said what led Mateen to attack the Pulse nightclub, which bills itself as “the hottest gay bar in Orlando.”
A 911 call could offer a clue. Mateen called dispatchers about 20 minutes into the attack, pledging allegiance to ISIS and mentioning the Boston Marathon bombers, a U.S. official said.
Sunday’s attack, officials said, wasn’t the first time Mateen crossed paths with authorities.
The shooter’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, held a press conference on Sunday.
She said she believed Mateen — who she said abused her periodically during their relationship — was emotionally unstable and suffered from mental illness.
“In the beginning he was a normal being that cared about family, loved to joke, loved to have fun, but then a few months after we were married I saw his instability. I saw that he was bipolar and he would get mad out of nowhere. That’s when I started worrying about my safety,” she said.
Yusufiy, who met Mateen online about seven years ago, said the abuse she suffered at Mateen’s hands became so horrific that her family was forced to “rescue her,” and she described the night she left all her belongings and fled.
“He started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them,” Yusufiy said.
“[My family] had to pull me out of his arms and find an emergency flight. … I made a police report.”