Pulse shooter, Omar Mateen text his wife ‘I love you babe’ after he shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida, according to evidence presented to a jury Wednesday.
Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, is on trial in federal court for aiding and abetting her husband and with obstruction of justice, for lying to federal agents.
If convicted, she could get life in prison. Mateen was shot and killed by police after the June 2016 attack.
Pulse shooter, Omar Mateen text his wife, Noor Salman (left, in a court sketch on Tuesday) ‘I love you babe’ after he shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub in Florida, according to evidence presented to a jury Wednesday
Salman (left), is on trial in federal court for aiding and abetting Mateen (right) and with obstruction of justice, for lying to federal agents
If convicted, Salman (left) could get life in prison. Mateen (right) was shot and killed by police after the June 2016 attack
At 4.27am, during a standoff with police more than two hours after Mateen first opened fire inside the Orlando nightclub, Salman texted Mateen, twice asking, ‘where are you?’
The exchange happened about the time local authorities woke her up with a phone call, asking her to exit their apartment. The couple lived about two hours south of Orlando with their child.
‘Everything ok?’ Mateen replied.
The Orlando Sentinel reported from court that Salman responded, reminding her husband that he had work the next day. His mother, Shahla Mateen, was ‘worried and so am I,’ she wrote. Mateen responded: ‘You heard what happened’.
‘????’ Salman replied. ‘What happened?!’ As Salman texted, Omar Mateen’s mother called him twice.
He didn’t answer. ‘Omar call me … I am so worried,’ she said in a voicemail. ‘Please call me.’
By the time he and Salman were trading texts, as jurors saw earlier in the trial, Mateen had already gunned down club-goers throughout Pulse with an AR-15-style rifle, tracing a methodical and bloody path as wounded patrons fled, hid and called for help.
‘I love you babe,’ Mateen wrote in his last text message at 4.29am
Mateen shot dead 49 people (pictured) in the June 2016 attack on club-goers at Pulse nightclub
Jurors on Wednesday also saw evidence of Mateen’s online activity prior to the attack at the Pulse nightclub (pictured)
‘Habibi what happened?!’ Salman wrote, using an Arabic term of endearment. ‘Your mom said that she said to come over and you never did.’
‘I wish I knew,’ Shahla Mateen told jurors in her daughter-in-law’s trial Wednesday. ‘I wish I knew.’
According to the Sentinel, Shahla was emotional when she entered the courtroom.
Shahla said she called her son on June 11, after he left her home, to invite him to a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner at their mosque, according to the Sentinel.
She couldn’t reach him so she called Salman, who said her son would be asleep by then and she wanted to stay home with him.
In conversations with an Orlando police hostage negotiator, Mateen would later claim his attack June 12, 2016, attack was ‘triggered’ by the May 6 death of Abu Waheeb, an Islamic State leader in Iraq
Salman allegedly told Shahla that Mateen would be eating dinner at his friend Nemo’s house. He later told his mother the same thing.
But that evening Shahla saw Nemo’s mother at the mosque and told her that their sons were together. She was surprised when Nemo’s mother said he was out of state doing a medical school rotation.
‘I feel sad, embarrassed. I said, ‘He lied,’ Shahla said.
Shahla described her relationship with Salman as a ‘natural’ family relationship. She said her daughter-in-law loved spending time with the children in the family.
Jurors on Wednesday also saw evidence of Mateen’s online activity prior to the attack.
Prosecutors showed searches on his smartphone for the Islamic State group, violence in the Middle East, other acts of terrorism and places to get guns.
In conversations with an Orlando police hostage negotiator, Mateen would later claim his attack June 12, 2016, attack at Pulse nightclub was ‘triggered’ by the May 6 death of Abu Waheeb, an Islamic State leader in Iraq.
However, under questioning by Salman’s defense, FBI agent Kim Rosecrans said Mateen’s internet visits also included dating sites and a link about masturbation.
Those entries, defense attorney Charles Swift said, ‘don’t suggest Mateen was sharing his phone much with his wife.’
Prosecutors hope to rest their case by Thursday morning.
Her defense plans to call eight to 10 witnesses, and then the case will go to the jury.