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Nightclub shooter attended high school with News4Jax reporter

Omar Mateen was 1 year ahead of Chris Parenteau at Martin County High School

Shooter Omar Mateen present, left, and high school, right.
Shooter Omar Mateen present, left, and high school, right.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Classmates from Martin County High School began sharing Sunday their knowledge to slain Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen from Port St. Lucie.

I didn’t personally know him, but as this story developed Sunday and more information about Mateen came out, I began seeing a lot of friends posting on Facebook stated they knew him when they were teenagers. 

I began looking through old yearbooks and found one from 2002-2003 when I was a sophomore in high school. He is listed, but not with a picture. I was able to find one from the 2000-2001 school year when my sister was a sophomore and Mateen was a freshman.

Friends said he was in the 2004 graduating class. One friend who now lives in Orlando made this Facebook post that contained expletives.

It breaks my heart to hear what happened in my city of Orlando. What's even more upsetting is I was actually friends with that piece of **** shooter back in high school. I'm beyond outraged right now. Thoughts and prayers to all the families of the victims and survivors.”

At this time, that friend has told me he doesn’t want to talk about Mateen.

One story that keeps being posted by a lot of friends was from Sept. 11, 2001. They said that after the terror attacks that day, Mateen made anti-American statements and seemed unsympathetic about the loss of life. At some point during his time in high school, Mateen was at an alternative school in Martin County, friends said. Martin County School District spokesman Jamie Penn Adcock would not release any details.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the lead agency in charge of the Orlando shooting incident.  Any information related to any individuals that may have been involved will not be released through the school district and all inquiries will be directed to the media relations department of the FBI.”

There is a lot of anger and frustration from my friends that knew him. Authorities searched multiple homes in the Fort Pierce and Port Saint Lucie area Sunday. For a lot of people that I grew up0 with, this hits really close to home, even though it happened in Orlando. They are shocked that someone from that community was capable of doing something like this.

What we know about Omar Mateen

Mateen was born 29 years ago in New York, but his parents were born in Afghanistan, according to CNN.

In a 911 call from the club, Mateen professed allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

VIDEO: Omar Mateen's background

The FBI says Mateen was a U.S. citizen and not under surveillance. In 2014, authorities discovered he had ties to an American suicide bomber, but they said they were minimal and he didn't constitute a threat at the time. 

They say he also made inflammatory comments to co-workers in 2013. Mateen legally purchased at least two firearms within the past week or so, said Trevor Velinor, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, said his son got angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami a couple of months ago. He said that might be related to the attack. Seddique said the attack had nothing to do with religion. Mateen's ex-wife said his family was from Afghanistan, but that he was born in New York.

The FBI has investigated Mateen in the past for having ties to Islamic extremism. Investigators reveal there were two cases opened on Mateen -- one in 2013 and on in 2014 -- but they didn't find evidence to charge him with anything. He was not under investigation at the time of this shooting. 

Washington Post: "Violent and Unstable"

Mateen's ex-wife spoke with The Washington Post, describing Mateen as violent and unstable. She said Mateen beat her repeatedly while they were married.

She told the Post that the two met online eight years ago and then she moved to Florida to be with Mateen. She said at first the marriage was normal but then Mateen turned abusive.

NBC News: A Husband and Father

NBC News is reporting Mateen's father, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, released a statement about the shooting.

In that statement Mir Seddique stated: "We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country."

Mir Seddique also stated, "This has nothing to do with religion."

According to NBC, Mir Seddique said his son have been motivated by a disdain for the LGBT community. He said his son had recently become outraged when he saw two men kissing in Miami.

Mir Seddique said his son was a husband and father of a 3-year-old son with a job in security. He attended Indian River State College, where he received his associate's degree in criminal justice, NBC reports.

Orlando Nightclub Shooting | Graphiq