FORT PIERCE, Fla. - As families grieved on Sunday after the worst U.S. mass shooting, a picture began to emerge of a gunman who was quiet and had few friends and had been interviewed by U.S. authorities in recent years for suspected sympathies with Muslim extremists.
Before fatally shooting 50 people and wounding 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando Erik Lamela World Cup Jersey , Florida, Omar Mateen, 29 Diego Maradona World Cup Jersey , who was killed by police, appeared to live a quiet life in Fort Pierce on Florida’s southeast coast, 120 miles (195 km) from the nightclub where the massacre took place.
The imam of the Florida mosque that Mateen attended for nearly 10 years described him as a soft-spoken man who would visit regularly but rarely interact with the congregation.
"He hardly had any friends Carlos Tevez World Cup Jersey ," Syed Shafeeq Rahman, who heads the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, told Reuters. "He would come with his little son at night to pray and after he would leave."
Rahman said Mateen never approached him regarding any concerns about homosexuals. Rahman said he himself had been increasingly speaking out against violence Augusto Fernandez World Cup Jersey , noting that even inflicting a scratch on someone was against the tenets of Islam.
The tragedy had left the local Muslim community fearful, he said. "We thought we could relax for a couple of years and tell people we are normal human beings," Rahman said.
Rahman said he planned to add extra security to the mosque and brighter lighting to help reassure followers they were safe amid fears of a public backlash against Muslims.
Still Angel Di Maria World Cup Jersey , much remains unclear about the motivations of Mateen. He was born in New York of Afghan descent. A classmate from his Florida high school described him as a typical teenager who played football for a Martin County team in Stuart, a small city about a 20-minute drive from Fort Pierce.
Samuel King said he often spoke with Mateen after he graduated high school. King worked at Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant in the Treasure Coast Mall, where Mateen worked at GNC Victor Cuesta Argentina Jersey , the nutrition store, he said.