Michael Edison Hayden, ABC News, June 14, 2016
Noor Mateen, the 30-year-old wife of Omar Mateen, the shooter at the Orlando gay club massacre, is being considered for possible criminal charges, officials say. A law enforcement official told ABC News that she may have known something about the incident in advance but claims she tried to talk him out of the assault.
News of the potential involvement of Mateen’s wife comes just moments after doctors at Orlando Health, a hospital where first-responders brought victims of the shooting, warned that the death toll may rise in the wake of the shooting.
Mateen, the killer, was said to be a regular at Pulse and other gay clubs in Florida, according to witnesses. Estella Peterkin, head of security at Pulse, told ABC News she had to kick him out for bad behavior on multiple occasions.
President Obama addressed the Orlando attack today in a speech, saying a unified America will defeat the threat of ISIS.
“Our diversity and our respect for each other,” Obama said, pausing for emphasis. “That’s what makes this country great.”
The FBI said in a statement Monday that Mateen had been interviewed by authorities in 2014 because of alleged ties to Abusalha, the son of a Palestinian father and American mother, who died on May 24, 2014, at the age of 22. Abusalha drove a truck packed with explosives into a government outpost in Syria, detonating the charge.