It’s been days now since the horrific massacre in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 more wounded… and still there are more questions than answers.
To try and get some clarity on how the tragedy happened, Global News’ Jackson Proskow sat down for a one-on-one interview with the Seddique Mateen, the accused killer’s father.
Proskow joined Lynda today to break down what he said.
LISTEN: Lynda Steele and Jackson Proskow talk about going one-on-one with Omar Mateen’s father
One of the key questions to surface after the massacre at the LGBTQ Pulse Nightclub involves Omar Mateen’s sexuality. Multiple reports have surfaced that he frequented the club regularly, had used a gay dating app, and had previously asked male classmates out on dates.
Proskow says Mateen’s father denied that his son was gay… As to whether he would have accepted his son if he was?
“And he basically shot that down and said I’m not going to speculate about that.”
Proskow says Mateen also denied that his son was a terrorist – and had instead been seduced by ISIS, whom he also accused of planning the attack and giving his son a “devil mind.”
“He said no, my son was not a terrorist. He feels that his son was inspired or somehow converted or persuaded by ISIS to carry out this act of terror, but he does not believe his son was a terrorist despite the massacre that he carried out on the early hours of Sunday morning.”
As for the victims in the shooting, Proskow says the elder Mateen now considers them kin.
“He essentially considers the victims now to be members of his family. He said he has 51 new members of his family, he feels for them, and he’s gone through the stages of anger, grief and sadness, but yes he describes the victims of his family now.
Proskow says Mateen was full of praise for his son’s wife – who herself is facing questions from the authorities about her role in the attack.
“[He said] She’s a very nice lady, she kept a clean house, she looked after him. And when I pressed him further on did she suspect anything, he essentially shut down the interview.”
Noor Salman is alleged to have been with Mateen when he bought a holster and ammunition, and may have helped him scout the Pulse nightclub in advance of the attack.
As to Mateen’s ex-wife Sitora Yusufiy, who says the shooter beat her and may have been gay, Proskow says the elder Mateen is dismissing her as an opportunist who is trying to capitalize on a tragedy.
WATCH: Jackson Proskow one-on-one with Seddique Mateen
Proskow says the elder Mateen also took the opportunity to challenge Donald Trump to a policy debate on immigration and terrorism.
He says the man considers himself a politician in Afghanistan, and that even though he’s not running for office wants to take trump on – calling the presumptive Republican nominee out for himself marrying an immigrant.
Proskow says initially the shooter’s father initially said he wouldn’t do any more interviews and kicked media off of his property. But when they arrived with a camera the next day and identified themselves as Canadian, that all changed.
“His first words in the interview were all about Justin Trudeau and how much he loved Canada and wanted to speak to the people of Canada. He’s a strange man, and he certainly hasn’t shied away from talking to the press.”