Orlando shooter Omar Mateen may have been ready for battle at Pulse nightclub on 12 June, but he was also preparing for life after the attack. Federal officials confirmed that Mateen purchased plane tickets to the West Coast for his family to visit his ailing mother-in-law.
According to NBC News, Mateen purchased the tickets two days before the deadly attack. The tickets were to travel to San Francisco on 14 June for a two week period. His wife's mother had recently had an operation and was not recovering, so the family planned to visit her.
Mateen, however, died in a shootout with police in the early hours of 12 June following a three-hour massacre that is being touted as the worst mass shooting in modern US history. Armed with a semi-automatic rifle and 9mm semi-automatic pistol, Mateen murdered 49 people and injured 53 others.
Federal law enforcement officials said the 29-year-old arrived around midnight, paid his entry fee and got a wristband to enter Pulse club. He then left and came back around two hours later to launch the attack. CNN reported investigators believe Mateen was casing the club security but they are still attempting to figure out what he was doing for the two hours before the attack.
Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, allegedly pleaded with him not to leave the night of the attack. She told investigators he left his home angry and was carrying a bag with his guns, CNN reported. Salman claims she did not know he was planning the rampage.
A source close to the family said the shooter sent a text message to his wife during the massacre, asking her if she knew what was happening and telling her that he loved her. They exchanged a few texts and she attempted to call him although he did not answer. Salman has not been charged for failing to report her husband to law enforcement, but has retained a lawyer to represent her, CNN reported.
WPTV reported that Mateen has been buried in accordance with Islamic customs, after his body had been released by the Orange County Medical Examiner's office, reported the Wall Street Journal.