Shooter Ranted on Facebook Hours Before Slaughter

Gunman even searched for posts about Pulse as shooting was underway
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2016 4:14 AM CDT
Updated Jun 16, 2016 5:20 AM CDT
Mateen Ranted on Facebook Hours Before Slaughter
Seddique Mateen, father of Omar Mateen, talks to reporters on Wednesday in Fort Pierce, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Omar Mateen used Facebook before—and even during—the Orlando mass shooting, ranting against the West and searching for posts on the massacre, according to a lawmaker's letter to Mark Zuckerberg. Sen. Ron Johnson, GOP chair of the Homeland Security Committee, quotes posts including: "The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west" and "You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes ... now taste the Islamic state vengeance" in a letter asking Zuckerberg for his assistance investigating the attack, the AP reports. According to Johnson, Mateen searched Facebook for "Pulse Orlando" and "shooting" on Sunday morning, apparently when the mass shooting was already underway. In other developments:

  • Mateen was kicked out of high school in the ninth grade for fighting, according to records seen by the Washington Post. The records also state that he used marijuana and steroids and had been convicted of a crime, though records do not specify the offense.

  • A student at Indian River State College tells NBC News that Mateen was rejected from a six-month law enforcement training program last year. Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, says he "worked very hard to put him in the police academy."
  • News 13 reports that Mateen called the station during the rampage, telling producer Matthew Gentili, "I'm the shooter. It's me. I am the shooter." Gentili says the caller said he "did it for ISIS."
  • It's too early to say whether Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, will face charges, the US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida tells the Orlando Sentinel. Lee Bentley promises that "no stone will be left unturned" and that "you will not find a more exhaustive or thorough investigation anywhere else in the United States." Insiders say Salman told federal agents that she tried to talk Mateen out of the shooting.
  • The Miami Herald reports that Orlando has opened a center at the Citrus Bowl Stadium to deal with bereaved family members. The city is also bracing for the arrival of anti-gay protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church.
  • The New York Times spoke to Joshua Stephany, Orlando’s chief medical examiner, who lost count of how many autopsies he performed this week. "Take a typical homicide scene, multiply it by 50, even that just won't prepare you for what you see," he says. Stephany says that out of respect for the victims, Mateen's body is being kept in a separate area of the morgue that is normally used for decomposing bodies.
(A Pulse survivor says Mateen claimed he wanted to spare black people.)

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