Omar Mateen’s life ended early Sunday morning, when police shot and killed him inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
But his life began in New Hyde Park, Queens, where he was born, and in Westbury, where he spent some of the first few years of his life.
Mateen, a resident of Fort Pierce, Florida, was born Omar Mir Seddique on Nov. 16, 1986, in the Queens portion of New Hyde Park, according to a name-change application he filed in 2006. He added the surname “Mateen” that year.
Omar Mateen, his father, Seddique Mir Mateen, and mother, Shahla S. Mateen — both immigrants from Afghanistan — lived in Flushing, Queens, from his birth until 1988, when they moved to Westbury, the application says.
The family lived in a home on Land Lane across the street from the Bowling Green Elementary School until they moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida, in 1991, the document says.
Seddique Mir Mateen sold life insurance for a living, said a neighbor who has lived in a home on the next block for 38 years.
The neighbor, who declined to give a name, said she did not interact often with the family, but would see Shahla Mateen on the school playground with the family’s children.
“I used to see them walking by with children on the playground, but I wasn’t close,” she said.
Seddique Mir Mateen has condemned his son’s attack on the Pulse, the gay nightclub where he killed 49 people and wounded 53.
While he told NBC News his son had recently gotten angry after seeing two gay men kissing, he gave no signs that he would carry out such an attack, Seddique Mir Mateen said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“He was well educated and he grew up in a very well to do family, and he had a lot of love and care,” he told the newspaper.
Omar Mateen and his family are Muslim, and he reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group in a 911 call Sunday morning. Authorities have said they have no reason to believe Mateen coordinated the attack with the Islamic State.
While Seddique Mir Mateen reportedly said “only God can punish homosexuality” in a since-deleted Facebook video, he told NBC News his son’s attack “has nothing to do with religion.”
“Bigotry, hate, terrorism — they don’t have any religion,” said Isma Chaudhry, president of the Westbury-based Islamic Center of Long Island. “They do not belong to any ethnicity. It’s a disease of the mind and disease of the heart.”
The Mateen family lived in Westbury in the Islamic Center’s early years — it was incorporated as a religious organization in 1982 and is now Long Island’s largest mosque.
But the family was not active there and no members knew them, Chaudhry said.
“They were not involved in any of the center’s activities or community programs, nor were they members, according to our records,” said Chaudhry, a Roslyn resident.
As more Muslims moved to Long Island suburbs to raise their children, the mosque that at first had 100 households as members now draws 500 people to each of its two Friday prayer services, Chaudhry said.
Islamic Center leaders and religious figures from other faiths will pray for the victims of Mateen’s attack and their families at an interfaith iftar, the meal that breaks Muslims’ daytime fast during the holy month of Ramadan, Chaudhry said.
The mosque expects a crowd of about 200 for the 13th annual event, she said.