Omar Mateen, the identified suspect in the mass shooting of Pulse nightclub in Orlando was investigated twice by the FBI.
CCTV America’s Jim Spellman reprots.
Pulse nightclub shooter was investigated by the FBIOmar Mateen, the identified suspect in the mass shooting of Pulse nightclub in Orlando was investigated twice by the FBI.
“We first became aware of him in May of 2013. He was working as a contract security guard, and he made some statements that were inflammatory and contradictory about terrorism,” said James Comey, FBI Director.
The next year, FBI again investigated Mateen over possible links with a Florida man who travelled to Syria and launched a suicide attack.
Mateen was on a terrorist watch list for about a year while under investigation, but the investigations found he broke no laws, so he was able to legally buy the guns he used to unleash his attack.
“I think the FBI is in a tough spot, because you know they have to operate within the Bill of Rights. They have to operate within the constitutional laws of the land,” Douglas Smith, former U.S. Homeland Security Official said. “They can go out, and they can interview and they can keep checking, but they can only go so far, and that’s the great challenge.”
This push and pull between individual rights afforded U.S. citizens and the needs of government to keep people secure plays out in U.S. gun laws.
“Enough talking about being tough on terrorism. Let’s actually be tough on terrorism and stop making it easy as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons. Reinstate the assault weapons ban. Make it harder for terrorists to use these weapons to kill us,” the U.S. President Barack Obama said.
An assault weapons ban expired in 2004 under Republican U.S. President George W. Bush. Since then, the Congress has failed to pass meaningful gun control measures even after mass shootings in Aurora, Sandy Hook and elsewhere.
Most Republican lawmakers said gun control isn’t the answer. The powerful NRA gun lobby tweeted:”We must defeat radical terrorists, but not resort to destroying the rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves.”
The FBI said they did what they could to stop Mateen, with the tools at their disposal.
“We’re also going to look hard at our own work to see whether there is something we should have done differently. So far, the honest answer is I don’t think so,” Comey said.
Shooting survivor shares his story
Shooting victim Angel Colon spoke out publicly about the carnage at the Pulse nightclub. The tragedy was still “fresh” in his mind.
CCTV America’s Sean Callebs has more.
Shooting survivor shares his storyShooting victim Angel Colon spoke out publicly about the carnage at the Pulse nightclub. The tragedy was still “fresh” in his mind. CCTV America’s Sean Callebs has more.
“Out of nowhere, we just hear big shotgun, we stopped what we were doing and then it just keeps going,” Colon said, “We just grabbed each other-we started running, and unfortunately, I was shot about three times in the leg.”
The 26-year-old was knocked down, unable to walk because of his injuries. He was trampled by people rushing out.
He said the killer calmly walked through the club, shooting people at point blank range again and again.
“I could just see him shooting at everyone, and I can hear the gunshots closer, and when I looked over, he shot the girl next to me, and I was just there laying down,thinking – I’m next – I’m dead.”
The gunman then took aim at Colon.
He shot toward his head, but it hit his hand. Then, he shot Colon again, and it hits Colon in the side of his hip.
Fortunately, Police arrived on the scene. An officer was able to reach Colon and literally drag him to safety.
“With a busy level one trauma center, we are used to seeing gunshot wounds -we are used to seeing a multitude of injuries each and every night – but this was somewhat of a surreal experience,” said Dr. Gary Parrish, an emergency room doctor.
Despite the medical staff’s best efforts, doctors said nine people died after reaching the facility. There are still dozens are hospitalized, some of which are in critical condition.
Erik Fisher discusses the Orlando mass shooting
For more on the impacts of grief following the devastating attack at the Pulse gay nightclub, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke with Erik Fisher, a licensed Psychologist, discussed more on Orlando mass shooting.
Peter Vincent on Orlando terror analysis
To take a deeper look at the Orlando terror shooting, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke with Peter Vincent, a former DOJ and DHS counterterrorism officer, discussed more on Orlando terror analysis.