The 29-year-old gunman, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, who killed 50 people and wounded another 54 in a gay Orlando nightclub on Sunday morning had actually been investigated by the FBI in the past—once in 2013 and once in 2014. In both cases, however, the FBI did not feel that they had sufficient evidence to charge Mateen.
He had been interviewed three times by authorities to determine if he had terrorist ties. In 2014, the FBI tried to ascertain if Mateen had contact with Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, a suicide bomber from Florida. However, authorities walked away from the investigation believing that Mateen’s connection to Abu-Salha was “minimal.”
Because Mateen was not under investigation at the time of the mass shooting, he was able to secure a handgun and AR-15 rifle.
Despite Mateen’s allegiance to ISIS, the gunman’s father believes the shooting was driven by his hatred of gays. He had become “unhinged and unstable” a couple months back when he saw two men kissing.
Daniel Gilroy, a coworker of Mateen’s, said that he was so out of control that Gilroy had to leave his job. Gilroy states Mateen continuously made homophobic comments and was obsessive on the subject. Each day, Mateen would text him 20-30 times and leave him 13-15 voicemail messages. Gilroy tried to complain to PGA Village, the golf resort they both worked for, but when the employer did nothing about it, Daniel had no choice but to quit. “I quit because everything he said was toxic and the company wouldn’t do anything,” Gilroy said. “This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”
As a result of the shooting, police departments across the country will be stepping up their coverage of LGBT events and venues. And in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the police arrested an individual who was heavily armed and on his way to their annual gay pride parade.