The father of the gunman who shot and killed 50 people in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S history has spoken out, revealing he believes his son had homophobic motives.
According to The Mirror, Omar Mateen’s father told NBC News he believed his son carried out the killings because he saw two gay men kissing in Miami two months ago.
We are setting up a hotline for concerned family members – 407.246.4357. 5/7
— Mayor Buddy Dyer (@orlandomayor) June 12, 2016
Mateen’s father said:
We are saying we are apologising for the whole incident. We were not aware of the actions he was taking. We are in shock like the whole of the country. This had nothing to do with religion.
FBI is asking if you went to Pulse nightclub and left before the shooting. To please call pic.twitter.com/l1ngCurDox
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 12, 2016
Mateen, 30, is reported to have stormed into Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida opening fire first on clubbers and staff and then on police as they responded to 911 calls.
The first images of Mateen have now been released as Orlando’s mayor, Buddy Dyer declared a ‘state of emergency’, with medics requesting blood donations as they attempt to treat the dozens of people injured in the attack.
The NYPD has stated that the killer has no association with their department and that the tops he is wearing can be purchased in shops.
Police say the focus of the investigation will now be on identifying the victims and notifying their families and they are keen to speak to anybody who was in the club last night.
Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends at this incredibly sad time.