Nightclub shooter sought career in law enforcement

Investigators search Fort Pierce condo where shooter lived

By Sean Lavin - Producer, Chris Parenteau - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Omar Mateen wanted a career in law enforcement, but ended up working in security at the St. Lucie County courthouse instead, law enforcement sources told News 6.

Mateen killed 49 people inside Pulse nightclub early Sunday and wounded more than 50 others before he was shot and killed by police.

It appears the man responsible for the worst mass shooting in modern American history had been eying a criminal justice career for well over a decade.

Mateen took a law enforcement basic abilities test in 2014 at Indian River State College and in Leon County in 2006, a law enforcement source who personally reviewed the records confirmed.

The results of the tests were not immediately available.

“Omar Mateen received an Associate in Science Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from IRSC in 2006,” IRSC spokesman Robert Lane told News 6.

Records show Mateen enrolled in Florida’s Department of Corrections Academy in October 2006, the law enforcement source said.

Mateen had worked since 2007 as a security officer at G4S Secure Solutions, one of the world's largest private security companies.

In a statement released Sunday, the security firm confirmed Mateen's employment:

"We are shocked and saddened by the tragic event that occurred at the Orlando nightclub. We can confirm that Omar Mateen had been employed with G4S since September 10, 2007. We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, as they conduct their investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends, families and people affected by this unspeakable tragedy."

Authorities investigates Fort Pierce residence

Residents of a quiet Fort Pierce neighborhood were starting to get back to normal Monday after spending Sunday surrounded by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies investigating the apartment where the Orlando nightclub shooter lived.

The investigators in Fort Pierce, which is about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, finished their work in the Woodlands Condominium complex on Monday.

Fearing explosives at the complex, officials evacuated about 200 people while they looked through his residence for evidence Sunday.

A car sat in the back of the parking lot Monday with evidence tape on the doors and the trunk. Inside it were search and seizure documents from authorities.

According to a mortgage document, Mateen remarried a woman named Noor Salman and they lived in the Fort Pierce condo. CNN's Sara Sidner spoke to a source in Rodeo, California, who knows the family well. The source said Salman's mother wept and tearfully asked: "Why is God doing this to me?"

Court documents show Mateen had previously married Sitora Yusufiy of Port St. Lucie in 2009, but they divorced in 2011.

In an interview with CNN's Drew Griffin, the Imam at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center, Dr. Syed Shafeeq Rahman, said Mateen was playful and more social when young, but recently kept to himself and would come two or three times a week for two hours and talk to no one. Rahman said Mateen was at Friday prayers, following his usual routine. He was quiet and kept to himself.

Rahman said Mateen had been coming to the mosque since 2003. He appealed for peace saying: "We have to stop the killing and bloodshed."

A neighbor at the Fort Pierce condo complex said that she didn’t know who Mateen was and was shocked when she got home from work and saw all of the commotion in the neighborhood. Once the woman, who asked not to be named, heard the shooter lived just a few hundred feet from her, she was in disbelief for most of the night, she said.

"The world is getting a little crazy," she said. "There is so much terrorism of all kinds going on everywhere. You just hope and pray that you don't wind up in the middle of it like those poor souls at the nightclub."

Others living in the complex said that Mateen kept to himself.

"This is a very quiet neighborhood, and if someone was wanting to live and hide, I guess this is the place to do it," a neighbor said.

Mateen's parents, who are from Afghanistan, said he'd expressed outrage after seeing two men kiss in Miami, but they didn't consider him particularly religious and didn't know of any connection he had to ISIS.

Mateen's father condemned what his son did and apologized to the victims and their families.

"I don't approve what he did," Seddique Mateen said. "What he did was completely an act of terrorist. I loved him so much and dearly. I condemn what he did. I wish I did know what he was doing... If I did catch him, I would arrested him myself."

WKMG/WJXT 2016