11:30 p.m. UPDATE: Omar Mateen had a history of problems in middle and high school in Martin County, according to records obtained by WFTV in Orlando.
The Orlando nightclub shooter was suspended a total of 48 days, the records show. That includes a suspension after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when he allegedly cheered upon learning the news. Former students at Martin County High recalled Mateen as being a “normal kid” before 9/11.
The records also show Mateen got into fights and had a history of breaking the rules. Documents from Martin County show Mateen served five days of in-school suspension and 43 days out of school over two years.
Mateen went to both Martin County High and Spectrum Junior/Senior High in Stuart. A transcript shows he had mostly B and C grades. He graduated in 2003 with an adult standard diploma.
While attending Indian River State College, he listed his employers as Publix, Chick-fil-A, Walgreens, Nutrition World, Gold’s Gym, and Hollister, but he often worked at each place for just a couple months, according to WFTV.
10:30 p.m. UPDATE: Gun shop owners report weapons flying off their shelves since the mass shooting in Orlando, according to WFTV.
“People are afraid. They’re afraid of what’s going on and everybody wants to protect themselves, and protect their families. That’s just the way it is,” said Luis Lugo, a gun shop manager.
Along with guns sales, demand is also spiking for training and concealed-carry permits, WFTV reports. FBI records show that it’s typical for gun sales to increase after mass shootings.
Handguns seem to be the most popular, but Lugo said five AR-15s, which have been sitting on his shelves for months, all sold this week. They’re easier to buy because they require no waiting period.
7 p.m. UPDATE: Orlando shooter Omar Mateen exchanged text messages with his wife during the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, CNN reported.
CNN, citing a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation, said Mateen texted his wife, Noor Salman, at about 4 a.m. while he was hiding in a bathroom at the gay nightclub in Orlando. Mateen asked his wife if she had watched the news.
Salman texted her husband that she loved him, according to CNN, and also tried calling him, but could not reach him.
Mateen gunned down 49 people and injured scores of others before he was killed by police.
CNN, citing the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said Mateen posted on Facebook before the shootings: “America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic State. You kill innocent women and children by doing us [sic] airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance.”
5 p.m. UPDATE: During remarks made at his visit to Orlando, President Obama said in order to avoid attacks from homegrown assailants, the United States’ approach toward them must change.
“Given the fact that the last two terrorist attacks on our soil, Orlando and San Bernardino, were homegrown,” Obama said, “carried out it appears not by external plotters, not by vast networks, or sophisticated cells, but by deranged individuals warped by the hateful propaganda they had seen over the internet, we’re going to have to do more to keep these events from occurring.
“If you have lone wolf attacks like this,” the president continued, “hatched in the mind of a disturbed person, then we’re going to have to take different kinds of steps in order to keep these kinds of things from happening.”
He says those killed and injured were gunned down by a single individual with a powerful assault weapon.
“The motives of this killer may have been different than those of mass shooters in Aurora, or Newtown, but the instruments of death were so similar,” Obama said. “And now another 49 innocent people are dead. another 53 are injured, and some of those are still fighting for their lives.”
Earlier in the day, according to the AP, White House spokesman Eric Schultz reiterated the administration’s support for legislation that would ban assault weapons.
4 p.m. UPDATE: President Obama and Vice President Biden placed flowers at a memorial this afternoon for those lost in the Orlando nightclub shooting.
The president and vice-president visited the Amway Center to meet with victims’ families along with law enforcement officers who responded.
In addition, Seddique Mateen, the father of nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, said Omar’s son has been asking about his father.
“This morning my grandson was asking for his father, so that really hurt me really bad,” Seddique Mateen told the Sun-Sentinel. “And I was thinking about the families of the victims. They have kids and they lost their loved ones.”
3:45 p.m. UPDATE: According to The Washington Post, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said President Obama was “directly responsible” for the terror attack in Orlando because he didn’t combat the rise of ISIS.
McCain later stated on Twitter that he wanted to clarify it was “Obama’s national security decisions that led to the rise of #ISIL, not to the President himself.”
McCain’s remarks come on the heels of those of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who also related Obama to the attacks in an interview.
McCain laid the blame at Obama’s feet over his foreign policy.
“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures,” McCain told the Post.
3:30 p.m. UPDATE: Several state agencies have stepped up to assist in the Orlando nightclub shooting relief effort, according to the office of Gov. Rick Scott.
Among the highlights:
— The Florida Department of Law Enforcement set aside $500,000 to help offset the overtime accrued by law enforcement involved in the attack, along with equipment used. In addition, the Florida Division of Emergency Management was approved to let the Orange County Sheriff’s Office repurpose existing funds to cover overtime costs.
— The state’s Department of Children and Families connected six families to resources for healthcare, food, child safety and day care. They also provided local groups with assistance at a Family Assistance Center at the Citrus Bowl.
— The Florida Department of Health waived the usual fee for death certificates for the victims’ families.
3 p.m. UPDATE: Secret Service is preparing the area around the memorial for the Pulse nightclub shooting for President Obama, according to several news services.
2:45 p.m. UPDATE: Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson arrived at the memorial for the Pulse shooting, according to WFTV.
2:15 p.m. UPDATE: A note at the home of the father of Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen says his family has no further comments.
Tacked onto the front door of the Port St. Lucie home of Seddique Mateen is a note that reads: “We have been answering every question and been very cooperative throughout this time. We do not have any comments right now. Thank you!”
1:30 p.m. UPDATE: Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said that his deputies are prepared for any situation, including active shooter situations.
Speaking at a meeting of the Southeast Regional Domestic Security Task Force Executive Advisory Board in Fort Lauderdale, Bradshaw said deputies meet with nightclub owners to make sure their security is tight enough.
“We will, when the critique is done from Orlando, look at everything that they talked about,” Bradshaw said. “If there’s new lessons to be learned, then we will certainly incorporate that.” Click here for more on this story.
12:55 p.m. UPDATE: President Obama has arrived in Orlando and is planning to meet with victims and families of the Pulse nightclub shooting today.
The president is expected to meet with families and victims at the Amway Center for a few hours before returning to Washington. Click here for updates.
12:45 p.m. UPDATE: Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen was seen in a private conversation with Moner Muhammad Abu Salha, the man who became the first American suicide bomber in Syria, at a party several years ago, according to someone who attended the gathering.
This marks the closest connection between Abu Salha and Mateen, who the FBI investigated in 2014 after officials say Abu Salha drove a truck full of explosives into a Syrian restaurant full of government soldiers. Click here to read more.
Safa Zahi Salman lives in the Via Lugano complex in Boynton, according to records. Click here to read more.
11:10 a.m. UPDATE: Noor Salman, Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen’s wife, is not in Florida, according to Mateen’s father.
Speaking at his Port St. Lucie home, Seddique Mateen said Salman is not in the area today.
On Wednesday, CNN reported that a U.S. attorney would convene a grand jury to consider charges against Salman. News sources have said Salman told the FBI that she knew about her husband’s plan to carry out a mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub,a and that an arrest was possible.
10:30 a.m. UPDATE: Six injured victims from the Pulse nightclub shooting remain in critical condition at Orlando Health, according to information released by that hospital this morning.
WFTV reports that three other victims are in guarded condition and 14 are stable. These figures cover only those who were transported to Orlando Health; other hospitals’ information wasn’t currently available.
In addition, two shooting victims have been released from the hospital, WFTV reported.
CNN reports that three surgeries are scheduled today for Pulse victims, and that surgeons have performed 50 operations on such victims so far.
10 a.m. UPDATE: A few drivers are shouting at the home of Omar Mateen’s father’s Port St. Lucie home this morning, saying things like: “You (expletive), go back to Afghanistan.”
ORIGINAL STORY: An American flag stood in front of Omar Mateen’s father’s Port St. Lucie home Thursday morning, four days after Mateen carried out the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing 49 people and wounded 53 others at an Orlando nightclub before dying himself.
Lights and televisions were on throughout the night at the Bayshore Boulevard home of Seddique Mateen as sources said federal officials plan to convene a grand jury into whether to bring charges against Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman.
Salman, Mateen’s second wife, has told investigators that her husband had interest in carrying out a jihadist attack but has denied knowing any plans of a shooting like the one Mateen carried out early Sunday at Pulse, a gay nightclub south in Orlando, CNN reported. There was talk outside Mateen’s house Thursday morning that she could speak to a grand jury before the day was over, but those reports were unconfirmed.
Seddique Mateen met early Thursday in front of his home with two men wearing badges. The men drove away in a black vehicle after a few minutes of quiet conversation.
Camera crews from CNN, ABC and NBC were staging in front of the house Thursday morning.