Omar Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, told reporters Sunday night that the Orlando gunman was “mentally ill” — and she believes that illness led him to commit the mass shooting that claimed 50 lives early Sunday morning.
Speaking from her home in Boulder, Colo., Yusufiy said she met Mateen online and they had married seven years ago and divorced two year later.
When asked if he was radicalized when they were together, Yusufiy replied there was “no sign of any of this at all.” “He was mentally unstable and mentally ill,” she explained. “That’s the only explanation I can give. He was obviously disturbed.”
Yusuify also revealed Mateen at some point worked as a correctional office at a juvenile delinquent center with the goal of becoming a police officer.
Earlier on Sunday, Yusufiy spoke with the Washington Post under the condition of anonymity because she feared for her safety.
Yusufiy told the post that Mateen was abusive and would beat her regularly.
“He was not a stable person,” she said, previewing the comments she would make about his mental health. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”
She said the two married and moved to Fort Pierce, Fla., together in March 2009. They divorced in 2011.
Being affiliated the man responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history has “shook” Yusufiy.
See excerpts from her press conference below.