He was a body builder and a security guard, a religious man who attended the local mosque and who at one point expressed interest in becoming a police officer, though he never pursued it.
Early Sunday, 29-year-old Omar Mateen gunned down 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, police said.
Mateen was the son of an Afghan immigrant who had a talk show in the United States, the nature of which was not entirely clear: A former Afghan official said the program was pro-Taliban and a former colleague said it was enthusiastically pro-American.
Mateen attended evening prayer services at the city’s Islamic Center three to four times a week, most recently with his young son, said Iman Syed Shafeeq Rahman. Although he was not very social, he also showed no signs of violence, Rahman said. He said he last saw Mateen on Friday.
“When he finished prayer he would just leave,” Rahman told The Associated Press. “He would not socialize with anybody. He would be quiet. He would be very peaceful.”
Mateen opened fire early Sunday at the Pulse nightclub, killing 50 people and wounding more than 50 others before he was gunned down during an exchange of fire with SWAT team members, authorities said. They say Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a call to 911 on the morning of the shooting.
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Image courtesy of Orlando Police Department via AP