Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

At college, Mateen told classmate he might bring gun to school

State officials fired Omar Mateen from the Martin Correctional Institution after he suggested to a college classmate that he was going to bring a gun to school and regularly fell asleep during classes, according to records released Friday.

Mateen lasted about six months as a trainee at the prison in Indiantown before he was dismissed in 2007. At the same time, he was enrolled in criminal justice courses at Indian River Community College nearby.

In April of that year, a classmate reported that Mateen asked him if he would "tell anyone" if Mateen brought a gun to the campus. The classmate reported the incident a week after a gunman killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech.

"In light of tragic events at Virginia Tech," wrote the prison warden, P.H. Skipper, "officer Mateen's inquiry about bringing a weapon to class is at best extremely disturbing."

The episode followed a series of slipups at the community college, where Mateen skipped classes, snored during lessons and dozed off at the shooting range. After he was fired, Mateen did not earn a law enforcement certificate and went to work as a private security guard.

Hired by a private company, G4S, he was licensed to carry a gun on duty and worked at the St. Lucie County Courthouse before he was transferred because of an unknown "incident" involving a black coworker, a former colleague said. Mateen wound up manning the guardhouse of a gated community.

At the guardhouse, Mateen had a violent temper and was openly homophobic and racist, said former coworker Daniel Gilroy. Gilroy said he complained to G4S about Mateen's behavior.

The company denied this and state records show no complaints against his security license.

At college, Mateen told classmate he might bring gun to school 06/17/16 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2016 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Surviving the graveyard shift: Convenience store work is fraught with anxiety

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — It's 10 p.m. when the alarm clock goes off and Kara Patnoe gets ready for her overnight shift at a local convenience store.

    Deputies investigate a stabbing at a Riverview 7-Eleven in 2013. [Luis Santana  |   Times]
  2. Snooty, world's oldest living manatee, dies in accident at Bradenton's South Florida Museum (w/video)


    Snooty, who was the world's oldest living manatee, died in an accident, the South Florida Museum announced Sunday afternoon.

    Snooty, the Manatee County mascot, turns 60 on Monday. Hundreds of people came to the Parker Manatee Aquarium to see Snooty at his birthday party on Saturday. He was the first manatee to have a recorded birth date on July 21, 1948.

 [Times (2008)]
  3. Deputies: Tampa man killed after car strikes tree


    TOWN 'N COUNTRY — A 24-year-old man was killed early Sunday after he lost control of his car, causing it to hit a pine tree.