Omar Mateen, the man who shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday, once applied to be a correctional officer and received a positive recommendation from a police officer. The officer, whose name was not revealed by WFTV, said that he knew Mateen for three years and found him to be “beyond reproach.”
According to the Miami Herald, Mateen was just 18 years old when he was hired by the Florida Department of Corrections to be a probationary officer in October 2006. He was fired just six months later in April 2007. FDC documents do not reveal the exact reason why Mateen was fired even though an unsigned February performance review said he could be a “good corrections officer” with more training.
“I didn’t know the guy. I don’t remember why he was dismissed. This was an event that occurred 10 years ago,” Powell Skipper, warden at Martin Correctional Institution and the person who signed off on Mateen’s dismissal, told the Herald. “I did not realize he worked at the facility until I saw it on the news.”
Mateen’s FDC records also revealed that he was arrested on battery charges when he was 14, but he wasn’t convicted and the FDC didn’t fully investigate it. The file also includes the following recommendation. According to the Herald, it was written by Port St. Luce Police Officer Steven J. Brown.
According to The Sun Sentinel, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s records show that Mateen tried to become a police officer twice, but was not hired. Months after being fired, he got a job at G4S Secure Solutions, a security firm. He was still working there when he went into the Pulse nightclub this past weekend.