Gunman in worst US massacre described as 'quiet,' with few friends

By REUTERS
June 13, 2016 01:32

 
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As families grieved on Sunday after the worst US mass shooting, a picture began to emerge of a gunman who was quiet and had few friends and had been interviewed by US 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, Florida, Omar Mateen, 29, who was killed by police, appeared to live a quiet life in Fort Pierce on Florida's southeast coast, 120 miles 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," 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."

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