ORLANDO Row: Gunman motivated by Homophobia

Orlando: The father of suspect Omar Mateen says his son’s attack “had nothing to do with religion”, but was motivated by homophobia.

The gunman who killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, who may have been motivated by homophobia.

Authorities say Mateen, was shot dead after a three-hour stand-off with police, and that he belonged from Port St Lucie in Florida.

Mateen was an American citizen of an Afghan father who worked as a security officer. He was married and is believed to have had one child.

Speaking to NBC News, Mateen’s father Mir Seddique said he believed his son’s actions were motived by homophobia, not by radical Islam.

“This had nothing to do with religion,” he said.

He said his son recently lashed out in his presence after witnessing a gay couple embracing in downtown Miami.

“He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,” Mr Seddique said.

He added: “We are saying we are apologising for the whole incident.

“We are in shock like the whole country.”

The FBI says it is still investigating whether the massacre was a hate crime, a terrorist act, or a violent crime.