WHAT: Deadliest Mass Shooting in U.S. History
WHEN: Sunday morning, June 12, beginning at 2:02am
WHERE: Pulse Nightclub, 1912 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806
- more than 350 people estimated to be in the club at 2:02am
- this was “Latino Night” at “the hottest gay bar” in the heart of Orlando
- the nightclub was considered a “soft-target” for an ISIS attack
WHO–THE SHOOTER: Omar Mir Saddique Mateen
- born in NYC 1986
- 29-years old
- U.S. citizen
- Lived in Fort Pierce, Florida (120 miles Southeast of Orlando)
- Parents Afghan immigrants, Father, Mir Seddique, and mother, Shahla, live in Port St. Lucie, near Fort Pierce
- He grew up in a house of four children, where he was the only boy.
- His mother was accused of “domestic abuse” and described by a coworker as “paranoid.” His father became a “supporter of the Taliban.”
- His parents spent years in and out of courtrooms and have been a party in “at least eight civil lawsuits since 1994, according to court records.
- In 2002, when he was 16, his mother was arrested on “charges of beating her husband.” His father didn’t press charges and posted his mother’s bail.
- His school records show that from grade school (third grade) to high school he had a history of “bad grades,” “struggles,” “outbursts of violence,” “fighting (in freshman year),” “suspensions,” etc.”
- He was in English For Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes through middle school. Between the eighth and tenth grade he was “suspended for 25 days.” One teacher reported, “he lacks remorse.
- Attended Indian River Community College police academy in Ft Pierce in 2006. He was described by classmates as “socially awkward” and “disliked.” He graduated with an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice Technology in 2006.
- Worked since 2007 as armed private security guard for British-based G4S Secure Solutions, one of the world’s largest security companies
- He was a security guard at Saint Lucie County Courthouse overseeing metal detection at the building entrance
- His coworkers referred to him as “unhinged and unstable” and said he “had talked often about killing people and had voiced hatred of gays, blacks, women and Jews”
- Married in 2009 to Sitora Yusifiy, her family is from Uzbekistan, met her online (My Space), she left him after 4 months, divorced in 2011. She alleges physical abuse, e.g. “beating her,” mental illness (bi-polar), short-temper, steroid abuse, etc.
- He traveled to Saudi Arabia twice as a pilgrimage to Mecca, an 8 day trip in 2011 and a 10 day trip in 2012
- He married his second wife, Noor Salman, in 2011, and lived with her and his 3 1/2 year old son in Fort Pierce. NBC News first reported Salman told the FBI she allegedly accompanied him when he bought ammo and a holster and tried to convince him on Saturday “not to do anything.” The FBI reports she is cooperating with the investigators.
- A U.S. attorney plans to bring evidence before a federal grand jury to determine whether charges will be brought against the shooter’s widow
- Investigators believe he made surveillance trips to the nightclub and the Disney Springs shopping complex during Disney Gay Days 2016,
- His father said his son recently got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami.
- FBI reports he expressed sympathy for a suicide bomber at work. The FBI opened two cases against him and conducted interviews in 2013 and 2014. He was described as an ISIS sympathizer and homophobic. He was placed on an “FBI Terrorism Watch List” and then removed after the 2014 case against him was closed.
- FBI reported finding a large amount of Jihadist propaganda on his electronic devices. Evidence includes records of him “watching ISIS beheading videos two weeks before the attack.”
- Four regular Pulse nightclub customers said he was a “familiar face at the gay club,” visiting “multiple times,” and “twice a month over 3 years”
- Kevin West, a regular at Pulse nightclub, reported to the LA Times that the shooter “used gay dating apps on a regular basis and messaged him.”
- He appeared in a 2012 video documentary, “The Big Fix” which examined the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill of the Gulf of Mexico. He is seen in the “undercover” video cursing and complaining while on duty as a security guard after the BP oil spill (video clip below).
- During last few weeks, shooter made legal purchases of an assault rifle (an AR15 style semi-automatic rifle, a Sig Sauer MCX, a variant of the U.S. Military’s M-16) and handgun (9mm semi-automatic Glock 17). He purchased the rifle and ammunition at St. Lucie Shooting Center on June 9.
- He attempted to purchase military-grade protective body armor, soft under and hard over, but it was out of stock at the store. Store employees were concerned about him and the store owner called the local FBI office after he left.
- In the last several weeks he made several financial and legal decisions, e.g. placing his wife’s name on property documents, life insurance, etc., to indicate he anticipated his death.
- He attended Friday prayers at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center mosque. He has attended the same mosque since 2003
- He drove to Orlando from Fort Pierce (120 miles, Southeast of Orlando)
- His mobile phone records show he visited a Disney entertainment and shopping complex called Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney, Saturday evening before driving to the nightclub. A law enforcement official said he believes the shooter was making surveillance trips at both the nightclub and Disney Springs.
- At 2:02am he carried assault rifle and pistol into Pulse Club and starting shooting. Gunshots “could have lasted a whole song.” He had an unknown “suspicious device” on him.
- An off-duty officer in uniform at the club engaged the shooter in a gun battle “near one of the entrances.” Additional officers called to the scene engaged in gun battle, resulting in the shooter retreating “eventually into a bathroom (with four or five people).”
- Most victims were shot during the first stages of the assault.
- After the initial shooting, gunfire stopped and police surrounded the club for 3 hours as people hid in rooms throughout the building and communicated with police and others by phone.
- He used Facebook, searching for key words “shooting,” and “Pulse,” and made “several phone calls” before and during the attack as the victims lay bleeding to death. He made a phone call “to an unknown acquaintance in Florida” to “tell him goodbye.”
- He called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS and leader of Islamic State. He made a reference to Moner Mohammed Abu Salha, an acquaintance of his who died in a suicide bombing in Syria in 2014. He mentioned the Boston Bombers, Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerian Tsarnaev, and said he had accomplices and explosives.
- During the shooting, he called Orlando Channel 13 TV producer, Matthew Gentili, saying “I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State.”
- He indicated he carried out the attack because he wanted “Americans (and Russians) to stop bombing his country” (Afghanistan). During the attack he allegedly said he had nothing against African Americans, they “had suffered enough.” He was reported to say, “This is about my country,” and “Now taste the Islamic State vengeance.”
- His comments were similar to the Boston Marathon bomber’s (Dzhokhar Tsarvaev) scrawled note referring to the American bombings in Afghanistan as “killing our innocent civilians,” “as a Muslim I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished.”
- He was “cool and calm” during his time in the nightclub
- Police Chief John Mina said officers held back for some time because Mateen indicated he had a bomb vest.
- The Police Chief also said the shooter did not make any demands but his reference to explosives prompted police to head inside the nightclub.
- 5:00am SWAT team used an armored vehicle (Bearcat) to break a hole in a building wall and dozens of hostages came out through the hole
- The shooter then came out of the hole armed with a pair of guns. During a “gun battle” the shooter was killed.
- One Orlando police officer was slightly injured when a bullet stuck his Kevlar helmet.
CASUALTIES AND INJURIES: 50 dead (including shooter) and 53 injured.
- many injured still in hospitals and in critical condition
- last victim bodies were removed from the nightclub by 11:00pm Sunday.
- 49 victims identified by Monday evening, June 13.
- photos, names and ages of all the victims below.
These are the names and ages of the 49 victims who lost their lives during this atrocity in Orlando:
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Family Members seeking information about a loved one should go to the Beardall Senior Center or call 407.246.4357
Victims Advocacy Hotline: 407.246.4440
Community Information: Everyone not directly involved can call 211 for information, assistance, emotional help and any other information.
The FBI is the lead national agency on the Pulse incident. If you have information, please call 202.324.3691
The Orlando Regional Medical Center (hospital) lockdown has been lifted. Please do not bring food, flowers or gifts to the hospitals, sadly they cannot accept it right now.
The blood centers are asking for O-Positive, O-Negative, and AB Plasma to go to https://www.oneblood.org and/or::
- 345 W. Michigan St. Orlando
- 8669 Commodity Circle Orlando
- The Blood Mobile will be at the Loop. 3232 N John Young Pky, Kissimmee, Fl 34741
- Oviedo Counseling Clinic counselors are available. Please call 321.244.3576 for available times and more information
- Redeemer Counseling is also offering free services to the community. Call 407.405.7677 for more information.
- Real Life Christian Church is offering free counseling for the community. Call 407.906.2797.
Free Flights for Immediate Family:
- Jet Blue is offering free flights. Call 1-800-538-2583
Free Printing for Memorial Services:
- AlphaGraphics Orlando- please call John at 407-896-2294
The Orlando shooter appeared in a 2012 video documentary, “The Big Fix” which examined the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill of the Gulf of Mexico. He is seen here in the “undercover” video cursing and complaining while on duty as a security guard after the BP oil spill.
- Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington, Terrance Harris, Mike Schneider and Tamara Lush in Orlando and photographer Alan Diaz in Fort Pierce, Florida
- Murphy and Berman reported from Washington. Missy Ryan, Adam Goldman and Jerry Markon in Washington and Katie Zezima, Hayley Tsukayama and Amanda Elder in Orlando contributed to this report. Also contributing: Peter Holley, Souad Mekhennet, Ariana Eunjung Cha, Greg Miller, Joby Warrick, Tim Craig, Sarah Larimer, Julie Tate, Missy Ryan, Ellen Nakashima and Thomas Gibbons-Neff.