A gunman who shot 49 people at a Planned Parenthood in Orlando on Wednesday, killing at least five and wounding six others, was an outspoken anti-choice activist who had written articles attacking Planned Parenthood for funding abortions and for its support of same-sex marriage, a federal judge has ruled.
The gunman, identified as 26-year-old Omar Mateen, entered the Planned Parenthood on the first floor of the complex and opened fire on the clinic’s receptionist and the clinic security guards who were attempting to help him, authorities said.
The attack comes as Congress is weighing legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases, including those for those at gun shows and online.
Mateen, who was killed in a shootout with police, had written a manifesto that included references to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to federal court documents filed on Wednesday.
Michele Hagan, a former federal prosecutor who worked for President George W. Bush’s Justice Department, said the court had to determine whether the manifesto was credible.
“This was a highly credible and threatening document,” Hagan told reporters on Thursday.
“He said he would shoot the people in front of him, so we can kill them in the back.
That was a clear indication of intent.”
Matee was a convert to Islam who attended Florida Atlantic University and had previously posted on social media that he wanted to kill gays and lesbians, according a U.S. official briefed on the investigation.
He had been living with his mother in Orlando, where he had worked as a bouncer, the official said.