Orlando shooter’s wife may face charges

Omar Mateen made several phone calls during the shooting

Noor Salman
Noor Salman. Image Courtesy: CNN

(CNN) – CNN has learned the U.S. Attorney plans to present evidence against the gunman’s wife, Noor Salman, before a grand jury for charges related to the attack.

Law enforcement sources tell CNN she told investigators she knew her husband wanted to commit an act of Jihad, but claims she tried to talk him out of it and didn’t know of any specific plot. She also claimed her husband’s behavior became increasingly violent and she was afraid of him.

CNN has learned she went with him to Pulse Nightclub and Disney Springs in early June. Places investigators believe he was casing before launching the attack.

Ron Hopper of the FBI said, “We will leave no stone unturned, and what that means is, at the end of all of our interviews, however long that takes if someone is able to be charged in this investigation, we will bring them to justice.”

In the middle of his three hour rampage, the gunman made several phone calls. Law enforcement sources say he called a friend to say goodbye, and he also called an Orlando TV station.

“It was just a regular day.” Matthew Gentilli, a producer at News 13 Orlando, says he received a call about 45 minutes into the shooting. “He started saying, ‘I did it for ISIS, I did it for the Islamic State’ again. And my, I didn’t know what to say to him, I was just blown away.”

“He never knew that we were in there at all.” Orlando Torres, who survived the shooting, overheard the conversations from the nightclub bathroom. He says Omar Mateen claimed he had accomplices with him. “He didn’t mention a name, a female in that sense was playing dead with the other victims on the other side of the club and she’s wearing a bomb vest and also that he was wearing a bomb vest and also there was supposedly three snipers out there and get ready for the cops if they came.”

The FBI is still working to access data from the killer’s phone, but it was damaged in the attack. Survivors say when police broke thru the wall to enter the club, water pipes burst, flooding the bathroom. The shooter’s phone was found submerged in water and covered in blood.

However, investigators have succeeded in retrieving significant amounts of data from service providers, including emails. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said, “Suffice it to say, he had probed multiple locations before he chose that spot.”

Despite expressing outrage at the site of two men kissing and making derogatory comments about gays, investigators say Mateen visited gay chat rooms and befriended several transgender women. Some of those individuals will be interviewed as police try to figure out why he was on those sites.

Law enforcement sources tell CNN Mateen also visited pulse nightclub numerous times in the months leading up to the attack.

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