Florida shooter Omar Mateen had been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) three times for potential terrorist ties.
Mateen became a person of interest for the FBI in 2013, after he made inflammatory remarks to co-workers and implied he had terrorist ties, an FBI agent, Ron Hopper, told media. The FBI interviewed witnesses and Mateen himself but the investigation was closed soon after. Mateen came into the spotlight again when in 2014, he had brief contact with a suicide bomber. The connection was not deemed serious, and the FBI again closed the investigation.
It is reported that Mateen bought the guns legally despite flags put on him by the FBI.
Mateen called 911 just minutes before the shooting, pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State, a federal law enforcement official said, confirming initial reports.
The names of seven victims of the night-club shooting have been released by the City of Orlando: Edward Sotomayor Jr, 34; Stanley Almodovar III, 23; Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20; Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22; Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36; Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22; Luis S. Vielma, 22.
President Obama has denounced Mateen’s actions as “an act of terror, and an act of hate”. – Jessica Holmes
Image from ABCnews, reportedly taken from Omar Mateen’s old MySpace account.