US: Ex-wife of Orlando shooter says he was mentally ill

13th Jun 2016
US: Ex-wife of Orlando shooter says he was mentally ill

By Michael Hernandez

 

WASHINGTON (AA): The shooter authorities say is responsible for the deadliest-ever shooting in the U.S. was “unstable and mentally ill”, his ex-wife said Sunday.

“In the beginning he was a normal being that cared about family, loved to joke, loved to have fun, but then a few months after we were married I saw his instability. I saw that he was bipolar and he would get mad out of nowhere,” Sitora Yusufiy said during a press conference in Colorado.

“That’s when I started worrying about my safety.”

She said while she lived with Omar Mateen he would not allow her to communicate with her family and that was her family that rescued her from the abusive relationship.

“He started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them,” she said. “[Her family] had to pull me out of his arms.”

Authorities have identified Mateen as the shooter who killed at least 50 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

Mateen called 911 minutes before launching the onslaught at the Pulse club and declared his allegiance to the Daesh terrorist group, according to NBC News.

“To be in some way affiliated, at one point in my life, to somebody that causes such a tragedy– it shook me,” Yusufiy said.

The motivation for the “most deadly shooting in American history” is not clear but that the FBI was investigating it an “act of terrorism”, President Barack Obama said Sunday.

“We reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer,” Obama said in an address to the nation following the deaths of least 50 people in a gun attack in a Florida nightclub.

Obama said he had directed his team to spare no effort in determining what and if any inspiration or association the killer may have had with terrorist groups.

“We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation,” he said, adding that what is clear is that the killer was “filled with hatred”.

The shooting at the gay club was a reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — should be considered an attack on all Americans and the “fundamental values of equality and dignity” that define the U.S, Obama said.
Author Michael Hernandez & Esra Kaymak Avci

[Photo: Mourners gather at Lake Eola for a candle light vigil for the victims of the terrorist massacre at the gay night club, Pulse, in Orlando, USA on June 12, 2016. Photographer: Samuel Corum/AA]

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