The body of Omar Mateen, the shooter who killed 49 people and injured dozens more at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, has been released by the Orange County Medical Examiner’s office.
Authorities confirmed that, as of Monday, June 20, the county coroner is no longer in possession of 29-year-old Mateen’s body. According to the Orlando Sentinel, officials refuse to release his autopsy information and will not reveal who claimed Mateen’s body. The FBI said that no other details will be released at this time.
Medical examiner Dr. Joshua Stephany kept Mateen’s body separate from the 49 victims he shot to death. “I autopsied him personally, away from the victims. We felt it was best ethically, morally, for the families to separate the bodies, so they won’t have the picture in their minds of the shooter next to their loved one,” he explained to CNN of his choice. “It just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”
As previously reported, Mateen — a resident of Fort Pierce, Florida — opened fire inside the LGBT nightclub at approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday, June 12. Nearly four hours after his attack began, police shot and killed him at around 6 a.m.
On Monday, authorities released the transcript of the 911 call placed by Mateen. In the phone call, he proudly took credit for the shooting and declared that he carried out his rampage in the name of “God the Merciful” and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.
“In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic] … Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic],” he told the Orlando Police Department. “I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
When the operator asked for his name, Mateen opted not to answer and stated, “I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.”
Prior to his hours-long siege of Pulse, Mateen reportedly spent multiple nights hanging out at the club. Several outlets reported that he messaged several of the club’s regular guests on gay dating apps. Despite speculation, Mateen’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, has vehemently denied that his son might have been gay.
“He wasn’t gay. I know 90 percent, 95 percent,” the Afghani immigrant told the Advocate shortly after his son carried out what is now the deadliest shooting in American history and the worst terror attack since September 11, 2001. “Based on what I’m thinking of, he must have gone scouting or something,” he said, in preparation for the attacks.
Besides his dad, Mateen is survived by his mother, Shahla, and several siblings, along with his wife, Noor Salman, and their 3-year-old son.
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