‘This was a sick per­son’

Lesotho Times - - International -

Or­lando — The ex-wife of Or­lando shooter Omar Ma­teen on Mon­day said she was shocked by her for­mer hus­band’s at­tack, but she rec­og­nized some­thing deeply wrong with him years ago.

“He would be per­fectly nor­mal and happy, jok­ing, laugh­ing one minute — the next minute his tem­per… his body would just (go) to­tally the op­po­site,” Si­tora Yusu­fiy, 27, told ABC News. “Anger, emo­tion­ally vi­o­lent and that later evolved into abuse, to beat­ing.

“af­ter be­ing abused and af­ter try­ing to do that and see the good in him, I can hon­estly say this is a sick per­son. This was a sick per­son that was re­ally con­fused and went crazy,” she said.

The two had met on the so­cial net­work­ing site Mys­pace in 2008 and dated for a short pe­riod be­fore get­ting mar­ried. At first, life as new­ly­weds in Florida was nor­mal, she said.

“He was a nor­mal guy, jok­ing, laugh­ing, you know, like hav­ing fun,” she said.

Ma­teen was reli­gious but not rad­i­cal. Born in New York, Ma­teen came from an afghan fam­ily but was “Amer­i­can­ized,” Yusu­fiy said. Yusu­fiy, who now lives in Colorado, is Uzbek­istani but had lived in the United States for nearly a decade be­fore the mar­riage

Yusu­fiy said Ma­teen des­per­ately wanted to be a po­lice­man and hung out with a lot of cops, of­ten go­ing to the shoot­ing range with them.

But just a few weeks into the mar­riage, Yusu­fiy said, Ma­teen started show­ing an­other side, one of anger and con­trol. She said Ma­teen made her get a job and then took the money she made.

““He beat me. He would just come home and start beat­ing me up be­cause the laun­dry wasn’t fin­ished or some­thing like that. It was just his per­sonal form on con­trol. He wanted to con­trol me and do what­ever he (could) to keep me hostage,” she said.

When he was an­gry, he would some­times rant about ho­mo­sex­u­als, Yusu­fiy said.

“In those mo­ments of emo­tional in­sta­bil­ity, he would ex­press his anger to­wards (a) cer­tain cul­ture, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, be­cause in Is­lamic cul­ture, it is not re­ally tol­er­ated, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. and I know at the time he was try­ing to get his life straight and fol­low his faith,” she said.

The abuse only came to an end when Yusu­fiy’s fam­ily had a dra­matic fall­ing out with Ma­teen’s fam­ily in 2009 and she said she was “res­cued” by her par­ents. records show the two were of­fi­cially di­vorced in 2011.

Yusu­fiy said she had vir­tu­ally no con­tact with Ma­teen since she left and can­not un­der­stand what led him to open fire on a gay night­club in Or­lando overnight, leav­ing 50 peo­ple dead and more than 50 oth­ers wounded. Yusu­fiy said that when she knew him, he didn’t have any con­tact with ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions.

A po­lice of­fi­cer work­ing at the club ex­changed fire with Ma­teen out­side of the club at 2:02 am. Ma­teen then en­tered the club armed with an as­sault ri­fle, hand­gun and “some kind of de­vice on him,” mak­ing it a hostage sit­u­a­tion, of­fi­cials said.

at ap­prox­i­mately 5 am, the SWAT team made the de­ci­sion to res­cue the hostages, of­fi­cials said. The shooter was killed in a gun­fight with those of­fi­cers.

There were about 320 peo­ple in­side the club at the time of the shoot­ings, of­fi­cials said. Law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said af­ter Ma­teen’s as­sault be­gan, he called 911 and pledged his al­le­giance to the Syria-based ter­ror group ISIS.

When she walked out in 2009, Yusu­fiy as­sumed the “hor­ri­ble mis­take” she had made was long be­hind her. Ma­teen had tried to con­tact her through Face­book a year ago, she said, but she blocked him. Then she turned on the news on Sun­day.

“I thought I had closed the chap­ter on this hor­ri­ble mis­take that I

had got­ten my­self into and for­got all about it and we’re free from it. But this is the most shock­ing, heart­break­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

Yusu­fiy told ABC News she wanted to speak to of­fer her sym­pa­thies to the griev­ing fam­i­lies, to pro­vide as much in­for­ma­tion as she can and to say that it’s “heart­break­ing for Mus­lims, for any peo­ple, any re­li­gion, that this hap­pens to where one per­son is not sta­ble and does some­thing to­tally out of their mind and it af­fects en­tire mil­lions of (the) pop­u­la­tion.”

Mean­while, ISIS sup­port­ers have cheered the mas­sacre on­line and an ISIS pro­pa­ganda group claimed, cit­ing a “source,” that the

shooter was an ISIS “fighter.” But there’s no ev­i­dence ISIS di­rected or had prior knowl­edge of the at­tack, ter­ror­ism ob­servers told ABC news.

ISIS, which is based in Syria, has tar­geted gay men for beat­ings and mur­der in the Mid­dle East and has filmed its mem­bers throw­ing some men sus­pected of be­ing gay from the roofs of build­ings.

Dur­ing Ma­teen’s 911, he also made ref­er­ence to the 2013 Bos­ton Marathon bombers, Tamer­lan and Dzhokhar Tsar­naev, of­fi­cials said.

Ma­teen was “on the radar” of US se­cu­rity of­fi­cials for some time but was not the tar­get of a spe­cific in­ves­ti­ga­tion, law en­force­ment of­fi­cials told ABC News.

FBI Spe­cial Agent in Charge Ron­ald Hop­per said the FBI had taken an in­ter­est in Ma­teen twice: first in 2013 af­ter he made “in­flam­ma­tory” com­ments to co-work­ers and then again the next year af­ter he was linked to an­other US rad­i­cal who be­came a sui­cide bomber in Syria.

Ma­teen was in­ter­viewed by in­ves­ti­ga­tors three times in re­la­tion to the probes but, in both cases, the FBI de­ter­mined Ma­teen was not a threat and closed the in­ves­ti­ga­tions, Hop­per said.

He was not un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion or sur­veil­lance at the time of the shoot­ing, Hop­per said.

Ma­teen, whose par­ents are from afghanistan, was born in new

York but lived in an apart­ment in Fort Pierce, Florida, more than 100 miles from Or­lando, of­fi­cials said. Of­fi­cials said he pur­chased two weapons, a hand­gun and “long gun,” a few days be­fore the shoot­ing. law en­force­ment sources said the weapons used by the at­tacker were a Glock 17 hand­gun and an Ar-style semi-au­to­matic ri­fle.

Of­fi­cials said Ma­teen had two firearms li­censes — a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer li­cense and a statewide firearms li­cense — both set to ex­pire in Septem­ber 2017. Ma­teen worked for the se­cu­rity firm G4S since 2007, the com­pany said, adding that it is co­op­er­at­ing fully with law en­force­ment.

— abc­news.go.com

File pic­ture.

Or­lando shooter Omar Ma­teen (right) and his exwife Si­tora Yusu­fiy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.