Father of Orlando massacre shooter: 'I am sad, angry at what he did'

The father of Orlando massacre shooter Omar Mateen called his son's actions a crime "against humanity" and said his son committed a terrorist act against his own family and innocent victims so heinous that even a father could not forgive it.


Talking to reporters at his Port St. Lucie home, Seddique Mir Mateen said his son alone bears responsibility.

"I am shocked. He's responsible for his actions. I did not see one indication. He did an act of terror against his own family. I am sad, angry at what he did."

Seddique Mir Mateen said his son, killed in a gun battle with police early Sunday at the Pulse Nightclub, left behind a wife and son who is three and a half years old.

"He should've thought about his wife and his kid and these people [the victims]," Seddique Mir Mateen said.

"This has no relationship to religion," he said. "If you're afraid of God, you don't do such a thing. He acted on his own.

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Father of Omar Mateen says the Orlando gunman "acted on his own"

"As a father it is hard for me to say something against my son. But what he did was wrong," Seddique Mir Mateen said. "I don't forgive him as a father."

Looking fatigued and often near tears, the 59-year-old native of Afghanistan talked to reporters in the living room of his home as Port St. Lucie officers stood at the door.

Seddique Mir Mateen, wearing a dark suit and a blue necktie, tried to answer again and again the one inevitable question about the actions of his only son: Why?
Father of Orlando massacre shooter: 'I am sad, angry at what he did'
He offered no clear answer to that question, and he offered no defense of what his son did. "I wish I did know," he said. "We admit that what he did was wrong. It was a crime against his own family. And what did they [those killed and injured] do that they should get hurt?"

Someday, Seddique Mir Mateen said, he would like to meet with the families of those murdered by his son. "When they will take me, I want to go and visit them," he said.

"I know they are saddened, angry," he said of the families of those slain. "They are my family. I want to go share my feelings with them."

Seddique Mir Mateen referred briefly to a story he told journalists on Sunday that his son became upset while on a visit to Miami when he saw two men kissing. But he did not speculate on whether that could have triggered the massacre, and deflected questions about the incident.

He also grew angry when pressed about his views on the Afghan Taliban and the politics in his homeland. In dozens of YouTube videos portraying himself as an important Afghan analyst and leader, he has expressed gratitude to the Taliban while denouncing the Pakistani government, the Washington Post reported.

But on Monday, Seddique Mir Mateen said, "The Taliban is a terrorist group." He then added, "I don't want to talk politics."

Meanwhile, in Fort Pierce, residents of the apartment complex where Mateen had lived were allowed to return to their homes at 11:30 p.m. Sunday after federal investigators determined there was no danger, and no explosives left behind by Mateen in his unit, number 107.

During the night agents could be seen carrying objects from the apartment.

The residents of the two-story Woodlands Condominium complex who lived near Mateen's apartment were evacuated early Sunday, after Mateen's identity became known and police and Saint Lucie County Sheriff's deputies rushed to secure the property. Scores of reporters gathered outside the yellow crime scene tape, and many were there through the night.

Monday morning, when the tape was lifted, the satellite trucks moved into the parking lot and TV reporters prepared to do their live shots from closer to Mateen's front door.

The doors of a gray Toyota Camry parked nearby were sealed with evidence tape, and a search warrant could be seen lying on the front seat. The car bore a Florida Marine Corps vanity license plate, and pasted on the back were Marine Corps stickers and one from NASA.

Among those who returned to their apartments Monday was Carolyn Miller, 56, who had been visiting relatives in Tampa over the weekend and watched from afar television reports that put her residence of five years into an international spotlight. "I'm like, really?" she said.

She said she did not know Mateen.

"They say you should get to know your neighbors," said Miller, who sells insurance. "But maybe there are some neighbors you don't want to know. This is a sad situation."

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