Gun Shop Owner: We Called FBI After Mateen Tried To Buy Body Armor, Bulk Ammunition

ORLANDO (CBSNewYork/CBS News) —  A co-owner of a Florida gun store revealed Thursday that his employees called the FBI after the Orlando nightclub gunman tried to purchase body armor and bulk ammunition.

Robbie Abell, co-owner of Lotus Gunworks in Jensen Beach, Florida, told reporters that Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse, came into his store about five weeks ago.

Abell said that Mateen asked for level 3 body armor, but the store doesn’t sell it. He also said Mateen made a phone call and spoke Arabic before asking for bulk ammunition.

The employees did not sell him any ammunition and Abell stated that “we contacted FBI direct” after Mateen left the store, but they were “not as attentive as we would have hoped.”

However, law enforcement officials told CBS News that they have not found any evidence that gun shop employees contacted police about Mateen’s suspicious behavior.

Mateen legally purchased a handgun and an AR-15-style rifle at St. Lucie Shooting center, which is owned by a retired NYPD detective.

Earlier this week, Eddie Hensen said that Mateen passed a background check and that a full background check was performed by Florida law enforcement.

Mateen was investigated by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 for possible terrorist ties but closed the investigations after determining that Mateen was not a threat at the time.

CBS News reports Mateen warned on his Facebook of more attacks from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the U.S. in the coming days.

“You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes..now taste the Islamic state vengeance. In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic State [ISIS] in the usa,” Mateen posted on Facebook before the nightclub massacre.

Authorities said Mateen pledged allegiance to the terror group when he called 911 during the shooting. He also called an Orlando television news station during the attack and said he pledged allegiance to ISIS.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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