Tags: US | Nightclub Shooting | Florida | The Latest

The Latest: FBI Head Details What Agency Knows about Gunman

Monday, 13 Jun 2016 01:22 PM

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly shooting at a nightclub in Orlando. (all times local):

12:55 p.m.

FBI Director James Comey says the gunman in the Orlando nightclub attack that killed 49 people had "strong indications of radicalization" and was likely inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.

Comey told reporters Monday that Omar Mateen spoke with a 911 operator three times early Sunday morning. Mateen pledged loyalty to the head of the Islamic State group on his last call.

The FBI investigated Mateen for 10 months beginning in May 2013. Comey said investigators introduced him to confidential sources, followed him and reviewed details of some of his communications.

The early Sunday attack marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Mateen died in a gun battle with police.

A vigil will be held Monday night in Orlando for the 49 victims of a gay nightclub massacre.

The group Equality Florida says it has been working with the city to make sure the event at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, just about a mile from the Pulse nightclub, will be safe.

Mayor Buddy Dyer will speak at the vigil.

A Democratic congressman says he's done with the moments of silence typically held on the House floor after mass shootings.

Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes says he will leave the House floor during the traditional moment if Republican leaders schedule one to honor 49 people who died in an attack at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning.

In a series of tweets Sunday, Himes says the silence doesn't honor victims, but mocks them. He calls the observances an "abomination" and says he will not be silent. He and other Democrats have complained about the moments of silence as Republicans and some Democrats have remained opposed to additional gun controls.

Himes says in an interview Monday that he plans to talk to Democratic colleagues about leaving the floor and honoring the victims in another way.

12:45 p.m.

A steady stream of people is filing through a makeshift memorial about a mile from the gay Orlando nightclub where 49 victims were killed in the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

The makeshift memorial had about 25 bouquets of flowers and a growing collection of candles by Monday morning.

One married couple, Josh and James Mercer, left a poster with the hashtags "#onelove, #oneheart, #onepulse" and the illustration of a medical pulse.

Josh Mercer says two of their friends died in the shooting.

Others who approached the memorial were emotional, breaking down in tears or holding their hands to their faces in prayer.

12:20 p.m.

Court documents reveal new details about the life of the Orlando nightclub shooter.

The documents are in relation to Omar Mateen's petition to legally change his name in 2006, the same year he graduated from Indian River Community College.

The documents released Monday detail Mateen's various jobs and say he was born in Queens, New York, and moved to Port Saint Lucie in 1991. Between 2001 and 2006, he worked at eight jobs, including a Publix grocery store, Circuit City, Chick-Fil-A and a Walgreens drug store.

Then his jobs begin focusing more on vitamins and health. He worked at Nutrition World in Fort Pierce, Gold's Gym and a GNC store in a mall.

The records show that he changed his name from Omar Mir Seddique to Omar Mir Seddique Mateen. The documents don't say why he changed his name.

The 29-year-old Mateen was killed after he attacked a gay nightclub early Sunday. Forty-nine other people died in the attack.

12 p.m.

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says Orlando shooter Omar Mateen visited the kingdom twice to perform an Islamic pilgrimage.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told The Associated Press in a text message Monday that Mateen first visited Saudi Arabia for 10 days in March 2011 and again a year later in March 2012 for eight days.

Mateen had performed what is known as the umrah pilgrimage, a series of religious rites carried out in Mecca by millions of Muslims from around the world each year. This pilgrimage is shorter than the annual hajj.

Most pilgrims will also travel to the nearby city of Medina, where the Prophet Muhammad is buried and where he built the first mosque.

11:45 a.m.

Hospital officials say five people are still in "grave condition" after they were wounded in the attack at an Orlando nightclub.

Orlando Regional Medical Center says 29 people are still at the hospital and a number of patients remain critically ill and in shock.

Six more surgeries on the victims are scheduled for Monday, a day after a gunman opened fire inside a gay nightclub. The attack left 50 people dead, including the shooter.

11:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama says there's no clear evidence that the shooter at an Orlando nightclub was directed to conduct his attack or part of a larger plot.

He says it appears the shooter was inspired by extremist information disseminated over the internet.

Obama says the investigation is at the preliminary stages and is being treated as a terrorism investigation. He says the attack appears to be similar to last year's shooting spree in San Bernardino, California.

The president says investigators are still looking into the motivations of the shooter, including the fact that the shooting took place at a gay venue.

Obama spoke in the Oval Office after getting briefed on the investigation by FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other officials.

11:15 a.m.

The father of the Orlando nightclub shooter is calling his son's massacre "the act of a terrorist."

Seddique Mir Mateen gave a statement to reporters and answered a few questions Monday at his home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. On Sunday, the father suggested that his son's anti-gay hatred may have led to the rampage, saying his son got angry a few months ago when he saw two men kissing in Miami.

Mateen apologized for what his son did and said "I am as sad and mad as you guys are."

He wouldn't go into details about any religious or political views his son held, saying he didn't know.

10:45 a.m.

Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama led a minute of silent prayer for the tragedy in Orlando during a visit to Washington.

Dressed in his customary saffron robes, he clasped his palms together, eyes closed, in front of several hundred people Monday at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He was there speaking about the role of youth leaders in resolving world conflict.

The prayer came after the last of the bodies were removed from an Orlando gay nightclub. The attack left 49 victims dead.

Spain's King Felipe VI has sent messages of support to President Barack Obama and Florida Gov. Rick Scott condemning the "brutal attack" in Orlando and expressing the condolences of the Spanish government and people.

In a telegram to the U.S. president, the king said he was "deeply affected" by what he described as "an execrable act contrary to all the principles of democratic co-existence." He reiterated Spain's firm commitment to continue cooperating closely with the U.S. for the peace and prosperity of both nations.

Speaking to Spain's Telecinco television Monday, the king said it was important to stay united against the perpetrators of such attacks.

10 a.m.

The father of the man authorities say opened fire at a gay Florida nightclub in a massacre that left 49 victims dead says the attack goes against everything he taught his son.

Speaking to reporters Monday morning, Seddique Mir Mateen — the father of gunman Omar Mateen — said the attack was against his principles and against what he taught his son.

Seddique Mir Mateen said the family is shocked by what happened and that if he'd known what his son was planning, he would have arrested him himself.

Authorities say Omar Mateen opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at a gay nightclub early Sunday before being killed in a shootout with police. Another 53 people were wounded in the shooting.

7:45 a.m.

Officials say they don't yet know if anyone will be charged in the massacre that left 50 dead at a gay Florida club.

U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley said at a Monday morning news conference that officials have been collecting electronic and physical evidence as part of the ongoing investigation.

He says, "We don't know if anyone else will be charged." He adds that officials don't believe there is a threat of imminent danger to the public.

Shooter Omar Mateen was killed in the early Sunday incident. Officials say 49 victims were killed in the incident.

The FBI says a total of 50 people were left dead, including Mateen.

7:40 a.m.

Officials are giving more details about the law enforcement response to a mass shooting that left 50 dead at a gay Florida nightclub.

The officials spoke at a Monday morning news conference. Orlando police Chief John Mina says an extra officer was working at the Pulse nightclub in full uniform. The officer engaged with the shooter near an entrance. Additional officers entered, and engaged the suspect in another gunbattle. The shooter retreated to the bathroom.

Mina says, "At that time we were able to save and rescue dozens and dozens of people and get them out of the club."

Officers then secured everything, and the SWAT team was brought in. Mina says officers then set up for an explosive breach on the bathroom wall. Mina says he made the decision to breach the wall, which created a hole through which dozens of clubgoers were rescued. Then the suspect exited through the same hole, and engaged in another gunbattle with officers. Shooter Omar Mateen was then killed.

7:30 a.m.

Officials say that families of 24 of the victims from the massacre at a Florida nightclub have been notified.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer described the progress at a Monday morning news conference. He says that by 11 p.m. Sunday, all bodies of victims had been turned over to medical examiner. The massacre early Sunday left 50 dead.

7:15 a.m.

A former Florida police officer who says he once worked with Orlando club shooter Omar Mateen described the 29-year-old as "unstable and unhinged."

Daniel Gilroy told multiple news outlets that he worked with Mateen at the G4S security company. Gilroy called him an angry, loud, profane man who used slurs for gay people, blacks, Jews and women. Gilroy said Mateen also regularly made threats of violence.

Gilroy told The New York Times, "He talked about killing people all the time." And Gilroy wasn't surprised when he learned of the massacre: He said, "I saw it coming."

Gilroy said Mateen started badgering him and sending dozens of text messages to him daily. Gilroy said he reported Mateen's behavior to his bosses.

Gilroy says: "I kind of feel a little guilty that I didn't fight harder. If I didn't walk away and I fought, then maybe 50 people would still be alive today."

The item has been corrected to show the name of security company is G4S, not G45

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6:05 a.m.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling says one victim of the Orlando nightclub attack worked on the Harry Potter Ride at the Universal Studios theme park.

The author tweeted a picture of 22-year-old Luis Vielma in a Hogwarts school tie, and said: "I can't stop crying."

Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister David Cameron have sent messages of condolence from Britain for the attack, which killed 50 people at a gay nightclub.

Cameron said he was "horrified" by the shooting.

Buckingham Palace says the queen sent a message to President Barack Obama saying: "Prince Philip and I have been shocked by the events in Orlando. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been affected."

5:50 a.m.

The Islamic State's radio has called the Orlando mass shooter "one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America."

Al-Bayan Radio, a media outlet for the IS extremist group, on Monday hailed the attack that left 50 people dead, saying it targeted a gathering of Christians and gays and that it's the worst attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Authorities say Omar Mateen opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at a gay nightclub early Sunday before being killed in a shootout with police. Another 53 people were wounded in the shooting.

The broadcast is apparently an opportunistic statement as IS has not officially claimed responsibility for the Orlando attack.

3:45 a.m.

Israel's ceremonial president says the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 50 people and wounded dozens more is "as cowardly as it is abhorrent."

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Reuven Rivlin says Monday that Israel stands "shoulder to shoulder with our American brothers and sisters" after the attack on the LGBT community.

He sent his condolences and said there is "no comfort for those who have had their loved ones torn away from them."

The Orlando attack has dominated news in Israel, which has seen a wave of Palestinian attacks in recent months. On Wednesday two Palestinian gunmen killed four people at a popular shopping and restaurant area in Tel Aviv.

LGBT groups in Israel planned rallies and other support for the community in Orlando.

3 a.m.

Dozens of bodies were slowly removed overnight from a popular Orlando gay club after a gunman sprayed the helpless crowd with bullets in violence that killed 50 people and devastated a city famous for family-friendly theme parks.

When the attacker opened fire in the early hours of Sunday morning, it interrupted an evening of drinking, dancing and drag shows at a club known for tolerance for all people.

Authorities say suspect Omar Mateen emerged, carrying an AR-15 and fired relentlessly — 20 rounds, 40, then 50 and more. In such tight quarters, the bullets could hardly miss. He shot at police. He took hostages.

When the gunfire at the Pulse Orlando club finally stopped, 50 people were dead and dozens critically wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Monday, 13 Jun 2016 01:22 PM
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