Shooter’s father saddened by massacre, calls gunman ‘a good son’
Seddique Mateen, father of the Orlando nightclub gunman, insists that his son, Omar Mateen, was not motivated by Islamist radical ideology, describing the 29-year-old as “a good son” who did not appear agitated or angry the day before the deadliest mass shooting in United States (U.S.) history.
In two videos – one is an interview with The Washington Post in Florida, and the other is a separate posting to Facebook – Seddique Mateen offered no hints on what could have driven his son, Omar Mateen, to carry out the carnage early on Sunday before police killed him.
During the rampage, Mateen pledged loyalty to the Islamic State in a call to 911, but his father said he did not believe it was a genuine pledge of support.
“I think he just wanted to boast of himself,” the elder Mateen told The Post late on Sunday in an interview from his home in Port St. Lucie, Fla. “No radicalism, no. He doesn’t have a beard even. . . . I don’t think religion or Islam had anything to do with this.”
Seddique Mateen said his son stopped by the day before the rampage and showed no apparent warning signs.
“He was well behaved. His appearance was perfect,” he said. “I didn’t see any sign of worrying or being upset or nervous.”
The elder Mateen said he planned to travel to Orlando and visit those who were injured or lost loved ones in the shooting at a nightclub popular with the city’s gay community.
“If they’re not ready, I still say to them, ‘I’m sorry,’ ” he said. “I’m saddened for their injury or if they lost their dear one.”
But in a Facebook video posted early yesterday, he said, “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality.”
He had a child and a wife and was very dignified, meaning he had respect for his parents,” Seddique Mateen wrote, standing in front of the flag of his apparent birthplace, Afghanistan. “I don’t know what caused him to shoot last night.”