New York: The wife of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was aware of his plans to attack a gay nightclub and was with him when he bought ammunition, according to media reports which said that authorities are considering filing criminal charges against her for failing to alert them.
Noor Zahi Salman reportedly told the FBI that she was with him when he bought ammunition and a holster and she once drove him to the gay nightclub, Pulse, because he wanted to scope it out, a report in the NBC News quoted several officials familiar with the case as saying.
30-year-old Salman reportedly told the investigators that she tried to talk her husband out of carrying the attack against the gay nightclub.
The report said authorities are considering filing criminal charges against Salman for failing to tell them what she knew before the brutal attack but no decision has been made.
Officials said Salman is cooperating with investigators.
Early Sunday, the 29-year-old Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, leaving 49 people dead and 53 wounded, the worst mass shooting in modern US history.
Mateen was married twice, and was the father of a 3-year-old boy.
Another report quoting an official said, “Theres an indication that she was with him in certain parts of the process, and we are sorting through it.”
While a person who withholds knowledge of a crime could face criminal charges, she is not facing imminent arrest, and no decisions have been made on whether she might be prosecuted, the official said in the report.
Earlier, Mateens former wife Sitora Yusufiy had said that he himself might have been gay but chose to hide his true identity out of anger and shame.
Yusufiy said in media reports that her ex-husband had told her that he frequented nightclubs before their marriage, but that he did not tell her they were gay clubs.
She said Mateen had been abusive and their short-lived marriage was marred by violence and isolation. PTI