Omar Mir Seddique Mateen has been named as the gunman who killed 50 people and wounded 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, CBS News reports.
The gunman was later killed by police after taking hostages at the LGBT club. The shooting, carried out with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun, is the deadliest in American history.
He pledged allegiance to ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, before the shooting, according to Congressman Adam Schiff, D-California.
Mateen, 29, is a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent from Port St. Lucie, Florida, according to CBS News. He has ties to radical Islamic ideology, CBS reports. His name was confirmed by Congressman 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.”
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country,” Mir Seddique, his father, told NBC News.
Mateen worked as a security guard and drove to Orlando to carry out the attack, CNN’s Evan
Click here for the names of the victims as they are identified.
Here’s what you need to know about Mateen:
1. Mateen Called 911 & Pledged His Allegiance to the ISIS Leader
Omar Mateen called 911 just before the shooting and pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, NBC News reports.
He also mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, during the call, CBS News reports.
Congressman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said in a press release that the attack appears to be an “ISIS-inspired act of terrorism.”
He said Mateen declared his allegiance to ISIS before the assault, according to local law enforcement. Schiff is the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and said he received a preliminary briefing on the attack.
“This attack is so painfully reminiscent of the terrible attack at the Batlaclan Theatre in Paris, and other ISIS-inspired attacks in recent years,” Schiff said. “The fact that this shooting took place during Ramadan and that ISIS leadership in Raqqa has been urging attacks during this time, that the target was an LGBT night club during Pride … Whether this attack was also ISIS-directed, remains to be determined.”
The FBI has not confirmed Schiff’s statement.
Local FBI Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Ron Hopper said at a 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.