Omar Mateen Identified as Orlando Shooting Culprit

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Omar Mateen has been identified as the shooter who took the lives of over 50 people inside an Orlando nightclub on Saturday night.

Omar Mateen

As previously and tragically reported, the terrible incident took place at a gay establishment called Pulse.

Initial reports indicated the death toll hovered around 20, but news reports say over 50 people were killed by Omar Mateen, making this the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The terrorist opened fire just after 2 a.m, according to police.

An officer working at Pulse initially responded to the shooter, "engaging in the gun battle with the suspect" before the suspect went back into the club, Orlando Police Chief John Mina explained at a Sunday morning news conference.

Mateen also took numerous people hostage for several hours.

At approximately 5 a.m., authorities moved in to rescue these individuals.

More gunshots followed, with police using explosives in an attempt to distract the suspect.

This is what we know about Omar Mateen:

Omar Mateen Pictures

He was a 29-year old American citizen with Afghan parents.

Police are treating this as a hate crime, saying Mateen was targeting gay people in his attack.

It is believed that Mateen is a radical Islamist, although it is unknown at this time whether he was representing any terrorist organization with his heinous actions.

Mateen’s father told NBC News that “this has nothing to do with religion,” saying instead that the culprit grew enraged after seeing two men kissing a few months ago in Miami.

The father speculates this eye witness account may have triggered his decision to commit mass murder.

Law enforcement confirm that Mateen had on him assault weapon, a handgun and two suspicious devices.

Shortly after the massacre, officers descending upon Mateen's home to find further evidence and learn more about the gunman responsible for a minimum of 50 deaths.

A TMZ records search, meanwhile, states that Mateen held a Florida security officer license and a state firearms license..

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