Tags: omar mateen | mosque | destroyed | fire

Omar Mateen Attended Mosque Destroyed in Fire

Image: Omar Mateen Attended Mosque Destroyed in Fire

In this photo provided by the St. Lucie Sheriff's Office, firefighters work at the scene of a fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce on Monday. (St. Lucie Sheriff's Office via AP)

By    |   Monday, 12 Sep 2016 01:39 PM

Omar Mateen reportedly attended a Florida mosque that was destroyed in a fire overnight. Mateen was the shooter in the Orlando nightclub massacre that claimed 49 lives and injured dozens of others.

Investigators suspect arson in the blaze that destroyed the mosque, according to ABC News.

“Emergency responders received a call at about 12:31 a.m. Monday reporting a fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, Florida,” ABC News reported.

The fire came on what’s known as one of the two biggest holidays on the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Adha, according to The Associated Press.

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, Florida’s director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, described the incident as “escalating violence directed at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce,” which is where Mateen once attended, the AP noted.

In early June, Mateen opened fire at Pulse nightclub, leaving 49 people dead and 53 wounded. He was killed by law enforcement officers following a three-hour standoff. His father reportedly was still attending the mosque.

The mosque received “threatening voicemails” after the nightclub shooting, Ruiz told the AP.

Special agents for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms field office in Fort Pierce and the Miami Field Division Certified Fire Investigators said “the arson is being treated as a hate crime,” when they announced in a statement Monday that they’ll be assisting the FBI in this investigation, ABC News noted.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office also will be helping in the investigation along with the St. Lucie County Fire District and the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Bryan Beaty, a spokesman for the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Department, said investigators were inspecting surveillance footage that showed someone approaching the east side of the mosque, The New York Times noted.

The video also showed “a flash and flames appearing and the person running away,” according to the Times.

Firefighters arrived several minutes after the 911 call, and by the time they got there, the mosque was “thick with smoke and flames,” Catherine W. Chaney, a spokeswoman for the St. Lucie County Fire District, told the Times. By 6 a.m., the fire was snuffed out.

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Omar Mateen reportedly attended a Florida mosque that was destroyed in a fire overnight. Mateen was the shooter in the Orlando nightclub massacre that claimed 49 lives and injured dozens of others.
omar mateen, mosque, destroyed, fire
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2016-39-12
Monday, 12 Sep 2016 01:39 PM
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