Armed with a device thought to be a bomb, an assault rifle and a handgun, 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in the busy club Pulse in the early hours of Sunday morning before taking hostages. Now his father has revealed what drove him to his shocking actions.He was involved in a three-hour stand-off with officers before SWAT teams stormed the building and shot him dead. The death toll makes the attack the deadliest mass shooting in US history, eclipsing the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre which left 32 people dead.
Speaking to NBC News, Mateen’s father Mir Seddique said he believed his son’s actions were motivated by homophobia. “This had nothing to do with religion,” he said.
He said his son recently lashed out in his presence after witnessing a gay couple embracing in downtown Miami. “He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,” Mr Seddique said. He added: “We are saying we are apologising for the whole incident. We are in shock like the whole country.”