Florida corrections department dismissed him after he joked about bringing gun to class, and security company that hired him next didnt check past employment
The man who killed 49 people and wounded 53 at an LGBT nightclub in Florida on Sunday was dismissed from the state department of corrections in 2007 after joking about bringing a gun to a training class, according to records released on Friday.
The Guardian can also report that G4S, the security company that employed Omar Mateen just months after his dismissal, did not carry out a check on his employment record at the department, which could have raised further red flags about his state of mind.
Mateen began his employment with the Florida department of corrections on 27 October 2006 and was involuntarily dismissed six months later during a required training class at Indian River State program. The 29-year-old did not complete his academic program and was never certified as a correctional officer.
The records released on Friday showed Mateen was dismissed after approaching a fellow recruit and asking: If I bring a gun to school would [you] tell anybody?
I looked at him and turned away, the recruit wrote in a memo dated 23 April 2007.
As a result, the warden of the institution where Mateen was employed recommended his dismissal.
In light of recent tragic events at Virginia Tech, officer Mateens inquiry about bringing a weapon to class is at best extremely disturbing, the warden, PH Skipper, said, referring to the shooting on the university campus that left 32 people dead just one week earlier. I will FAX supporting documentation to your office.
Within months of his dismissal, Mateen passed a background check to begin work for G4S, but company spokesman Nigel Fairbrass told the Guardian that an employment check with the department of corrections was cancelled after another employer understood to be a local gym confirmed Mateen had worked for them in the same period of time.
Mateen had told G4S he was sacked by the corrections department but said he had lost his job for taking two days off due to a fever. This story appears not to have been verified by the company.
G4S maintains that Mateens employment screening met company standards, and said they received employment verification from a total of four of Mateens previous employers. But the revelations are likely to lead to more questions over the vetting he was subjected to before he was employed.
Mateen was only psychologically evaluated once at the start of his nine-year employment and was not subjected to psychological screening again, even after the company became aware he had been interviewed by the FBI.
The department of corrections records show that on several occasions Mateen fell asleep in class and had a documented absence without permission. The records included multiple memos, including a pair written by Mateen, which describe the instances he fell asleep in class and during shooting range practice.
While my squad was in the back [at the shooting range] and it was not our turn, I dozed off in the lounge chair about two times, Mateen wrote in a 17 April 2007 memo.