Orlando Shooter's Father: Gay Kiss Angered Him

Omar Mateen apparently called 911, pledged allegiance to ISIS
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2016 11:42 AM CDT
Updated Jun 12, 2016 12:58 PM CDT
Orlando Shooter's Father: Gay Kiss Angered Him
Concerned friends and family of victims at the Pulse nightclub, where multiple fatalities were reported after a shooting, wait outside the Orlando Police Department, Sunday, June 12, 2016.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Mere hours after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, the father of the man accused of killing at least 50 at the Pulse Orlando gay club says he was unaware of what his son was plotting—and that 29-year-old Omar Mateen might have been motivated by seeing two men kiss months earlier. "We were in Downtown Miami ... And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry," Mir Seddique tells NBC News. "They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, 'Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom and men were kissing each other."

As such, Seddique says Mateen was motivated by homophobia and "this had nothing to do with religion." He continues: "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." Emerging reports conflict with Seddique's contention that religion wasn't a motive, with media outlets including the Washington Post reporting that Mateen called 911 prior to the shooting and pledged allegiance to ISIS. Mateen's ex-wife separately tells the Post that he was violent. "He was not a stable person," she says. "He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that." The marriage lasted only a few months, she says; when her parents learned of the assaults, they came to her rescue. (More Pulse Orlando shooting stories.)

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