Omar Mateen: Orlando shooter's body buried in unmarked grave

The funeral came as the Pulse nightclub organised a street party to benefit of employees

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Thursday 23 June 2016 21:46
A picture of Mateen has emerged of a man who was angry and confused
A picture of Mateen has emerged of a man who was angry and confused

The shooter who attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people, has been buried at in an unmarked plot at a Muslim cemetery in southern Florida.

In the aftermath of the attack on the Pulse nightclub, which also wounded more than 40 people, mortuary officials said they had carried out a post-mortem test on Omar Mateen in a different area of the facility to that of his victims. His remains were also stored in a different morgue so he “may never be near the beautiful souls again”.

Now, it has been reported that Mateen’s body was buried at the Muslim Cemetery of South Florida in Hialeah Gardens, a city in Miami-Dade County, according to a document obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

(AFP/Getty Images

A funeral home located at the same address as the cemetery carried out the arrangements, the state document showed. It did not give Mateen’s cause of death, the paper reported.

Local media also reported that some people whose relatives are also buried in the cemetery are angry Mateen has been buried there and plan to petition the graveyard operators.

“I don't see her resting in peace among people like that,” Andrea Wade, who learned Mateen's plot was 30 yards from his wife Aisha's, told NBC.

​The Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office had on Monday said Mateen’s body had been released, but officials declined to say to whom, directing all questions to the FBI. The records show it was returned to the 29-year-old’s father, Seddique Mateen.

A Facebook page for the cemetery claims it is the only dedicated Muslim cemetery in Florida. The cost for burial $2,500 and does not include funeral services, according to the cemetery’s website.

In phone calls to police while he was still holed-up in the nightclub, police Mateen claimed he was carrying out at the attack in the name of Isis, though there is no evidence the group had directed his actions. The FBI has said it believes the twice-married security guard had become self-radicalised by means of the internet.

Investigators are questioning Mateen’s second wife and members of his family. His wife reportedly told investigators that she had tried to talk him out of any attack, but said she was not aware of specific details.

It was also reported that Mateen had visited the nightclub on a number of occasions and may himself have been gay or bi-sexual. Earlier this week, one man, who was identified simple as Miguel and who claimed to have been the gunman’s lover, said that Mateen carried out his attack as an act of revenge after fearing he had been exposed to HIV.

“The thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism,” he told Univision.

The massacre took place during a Latin night celebration at Pulse, which was planning a Latin night street party on Thursday to benefit employees of the club. Pulse has been closed since the shooting.

The documents do not give a cause of death

Several media organizations filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to force the city of Orlando to release 911 calls and other communications relating to the attack, according to the Associated Press.

Noting the massacre was the latest in a series of mass shootings in the United States, the lawsuit said there was a strong public interest in fully evaluating how police and other first responders reacted during the most critical phases of the tragedy.

“Information gleaned from the actual conversations with Mateen and others lies at the core of understanding exactly how events unfolded and will provide critical insight into the propriety of the government's tactical response,” the suit said.

On Monday, the FBI released a partial transcript of a 911 call made by Mateen from the club, and gave brief summaries of three other calls by the gunman.

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