Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

Orlando gunman Omar Mateen was a proficient shot, records show

Omar Mateen was a proficient shooter who regularly got high marks on firearms tests, according to documents released Wednesday by the state.

Licensing records show that Mateen scored in the 98th percentile with the same caliber weapon — a 9mm semiautomatic pistol — used in the killings Sunday night in Orlando. In tests used to obtain a firearms license, Mateen often notched top scores on both the range and written examinations, the documents released Wednesday by the Department of Agriculture said. In one test of his shooting proficiency, he scored a 239 out of 240.

"He was an extremely good shot," said Steve Purl, a Dunedin private investigator and former firearms instructor. "Very few people can achieve those scores."

He also completed exams at the same place, Saint Lucie Shooting Center, that he purchased the weapons used to slay 49 people at Pulse nightclub. The documents show that Mateen completed three firearms tests at the gun shop where federal officials said he bought a Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle and Glock 17 9mm pistol in the days before the shootings.

Mateen was a private security guard with a Florida license to have a firearm on duty.

He first obtained this license in 2007, when he was hired by the multinational company G4S.

To get a license, he first had to take 28 hours of range and classroom training. He also had to pass a psychiatric evaluation. Records show he completed either a written test or personal examination, although it is not clear what type of test was administered by the clinical psychologist.

To keep his license, Mateen had to take a new shooting test each year. His most recent update was in August 2015. During that exam he used a .38-caliber revolver. It was the lowest score of his career — 203 out of 240.

The instructor, Michael Keyes, did not immediately return a phone call.

Records show he briefly lost his firearms license when he failed to renew it in 2014.

After letting it lapse, Mateen took a new test and his license was reinstated within a week.

For G4S, Mateen worked at the Saint Lucie County Courthouse and later at the guardhouse of a neighborhood. A former coworker, Daniel Gilroy, said Mateen had an explosive temper and called gays and minorities slurs. Gilroy told the Tampa Bay Times that he complained to G4S about Mateen's behavior, but the company has said it never received those complaints.

The Department of Agriculture, which oversees security guards and firearms licenses, had no disciplinary actions against Mateen in its records.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: A private security firm said Friday that it submitted paperwork to the state that mistakenly said Dr. Carol Nudelman performed a psychiatric examination on Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen as part of the screening for him to obtain an armed security guard license.

G4S blamed a "clerical error" for naming Nudelman in the state-mandated records. G4S confirmed that Nudelman sold her practice in 2006. The test was performed by another clinical psychologist in 2007.

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Published: 02/24/18