ORLANDO (Web Desk) – Father of the suspected gunman in Saturday’s Orlando mass shooting said on Sunday that he believed his son was motivated by a hatred of gay people – not by his Muslim religion.
He said his son, Omar Mateen, recently lashed out in his presence after witnessing a gay couple embracing in downtown Miami, and suggested the incident may have triggered the atrocity.
“This had nothing to do with religion,” Mir Seddique told NBC News.
“He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,” Seddique told the network.
The gunman has been identified as a citizen of Afghan descent, US television networks reported on Sunday.
Quoting law enforcement sources, CBS News named the shooter as Omar Mateen, who was born to Afghan parents in 1986 and lives in Port St Lucie, Florida.
The network reported that Mateen — who died in a shootout with police after the hostage siege — has no apparent criminal history and that authorities are investigating whether he had ties to Islamic extremism.