A witness to his character. The ex-wife of Omar Mateen, the suspect in the Orlando nightclub shooting, reveals that he used to beat her when they were married for several months back in 2009.
“He was not a stable person,” she told The Washington Post. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
Mateen’s ex-wife spoke anonymously out of fear for her safety following the Sunday, June 12, mass shooting, which left 50 people dead and 53 injured.
“He seemed like a normal human being,” she said of meeting Mateen about eight years ago online. The pair began a long-distance relationship for a while before she decided to move to Florida to marry him in March 2009.
The abuse began shortly after the marriage, during which Mateen worked as a guard at a nearby facility for juvenile delinquents. “He was a very private person,” she said.
According to the ex-wife, her parents intervened in the relationship when they learned that Mateen was beating her. They flew down to Fort Pierce, where the couple shared a two-bedroom condominium that Mateen’s family owned, and physically whisked their daughter away.
“They literally saved my life,” she said of her parents. She had not been in touch with Mateen since then.
As previously reported, 29-year-old Mateen has been named as a suspect in the violent shooting that took place at popular Orlando gay nightclub Pulse late Saturday night. The suspect was shot and killed just before 6 a.m. by police responders.
New reports reveal that the gunman had placed a call to 911 just moments before the incident, pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS.
According to NBC, Mateen also referenced the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
Mateen’s family were “shocked” to hear about his involvement, and believe that anger toward the LGBTQ community may have sparked the gunfire, not religion.
"We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident," his father Mir Seddique told NBC News. "We weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country."
President Obama addressed the nation from the White House on Sunday and described the worst mass shooting in U.S. history as "an act of terror and an act of hate."