The ex wife of the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, who killed 50 people in a nightclub in Orlando, said the incident came as a shock to her. She said that her ex husband was suffering from mental illness.
Sitora Yusufiy, who was married to Mateen for four months, said he would often physically abuse her. Calling him “bipolar,” she said he was “mentally unstable and mentally ill.”
“He was mentally unstable and mentally ill and he was obviously disturbed, deeply,” Yusufiy said, as reported by People. “That’s when I started worrying about my safety and he was abusing me physically very often and not allowing me to speak to my family and he kept me hostage from them. And I tried to see good in him even then but my family was very tuned into it I was going through and decided to visit me in rescue me out of that situation.”
Before they got married, the two had dated for some time. They first met on MySpace in 2008.
“He was a normal guy, joking, laughing, you know, like having fun,” she said. As reported by ABC News, Yusufiy said her ex husband worked as security at a juvenile detention center, and aspired to become a policeman. He would hang out with a lot of officers.
Yusufiy said Mateen had a “history of steroids.” Although she does not know if it triggered his anger, she said it did affect his mood swings. A few weeks into the marriage, Mateen started getting more angry, she said. “It was just his personal form on control. He wanted to control me and do whatever he [could] to keep me hostage,” she said.
“I was so so deeply hurt and heartbroken for the people that lost their loved ones and families that are now suffering and people that are wounded that are healing, she said.
“[I want to offer] my sympathy. What I feel for the people, what I feel for the souls that are transitioning … I don’t know why somebody would do this and that is my biggest concern. And I pray for their healing and I pray for their peace,to find their peace I pray for the victims to find their peace.”