ORLANDO (CBSNewYork) — The guns that the Orlando nightclub gunman used to kill 49 people were purchased legally at a gun store that’s owned by a retired NYPD detective.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Omar Mateen, 29, bought a handgun and an AR-15-style rifle from the St. Lucie Shooting Center, which is owned by Eddie Hensen.
Henson said during a press conference Monday afternoon that Mateen passed a background check and that a full background check was performed by Florida law enforcement.
Hensen added that Mateen did not buy the handgun and the long gun at the same time as he purchased them about a week apart.
“I’m sorry he picked my place,” Hensen said. “I wish he picked no place.”
Henson worked for the NYPD for 20 years, first with the old Housing Police section and after the merger with the NYPD Detective Bureau.
Henson retired from the NYPD in 2002 as a first grade detective.
Mateen killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse early Sunday morning.
Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on a 911 call during the shooting. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Sources said Mateen had been on law enforcement’s radar in the last five years, and that he was not under investigation at the time of the shooting.
Ron Hopper, the assistant FBI special agent in charge, said Sunday that they first became aware of Mateen in 2013 when he made inflammatory comments to co-workers about possible terrorist ties. Hopper said the FBI investigated the matter and interviewed Mateen twice, but were unable to verify the substance and the investigation was closed.
Hopper added that Mateen came to the attention of the FBI again in 2014 due to possible ties with American suicide bomber Moner Abu Salha. Hopper said that they determined that the contact was “minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time.”
On Monday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) renewed a push for a bill that would give the feds the authority to keep those on the no-fly list or any watch list from buying a gun.
“If that legislation had been in effect, it is very likely that the FBI would have been able to block the purchase of these two weapons by Mr. Mateen,” Schumer said.
Having been on the federal radar twice, Schumer was shocked that Mateen could get his hands on the weapons.
“How did this guy get these guns. This is somebody who shouldn’t have been able to purchase these guns, particularly the AR-15 which is an assault style weapon,” Schumer said.
The bill that Schumer called ‘a painfully obvious, common sense step’ was defeated late last year, 1010 WINS Al Jones reported.
Mateen was also accused by his ex-wife or repeatedly abusing her.