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Pulse shooting anniversary approaches as lawsuit lingers

Pulse Shooting Anniversary Approaches As Lawsuit Lingers

Pulse shooting anniversary approaches as lawsuit lingers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12)

Monday will mark one-year since the terror-inspired shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Popular among Orlando s gay community, 49 people were killed, and many others injured when Omar Mateen, of Fort Pierce, walked into the club, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a semi-automatic pistol, and started shooting. The attack, and exchange of gunfire with police, would not end until more than three hours later.

In total, more than 60 families of victims, and survivors, have joined a lawsuit against the wife of Mateen, Noor Salman, and Mateen s then-employer, G4S Security. The initial suit, filed in federal court, was dismissed, and transferred this year to Palm Beach County Circuit Court. The suit claims Salman was aware of Mateen, in the weeks before the attack, purchasing thousands of dollars worth of firearms and ammunition. The couple, the suit claims, exchanged texts, in which Mateen asked Salman How bad would ti be if a club got attacked? And What would make people more upset an attack on Downtown Disney, or a club? Mateen worked for several years as an armed security guard for G4S, a global England-based company with a U.S. office in Jupiter, Florida.

The lawsuit alleges G4S was aware and ignored warnings that Mateen was mentally unstable and a potential threat. G4S dismissed those claims, saying in a statement they said while they continue to have the deepest sympathy for those affected by the incident, the facts demonstrate that G4S s actions did not in any way contribute to the shooting. G4S reported more than $ 3 billion in new contracts in 2016. While profits are up, they have lost a number of local contracts.

Among those was a $377,000 contract to provide services for St. Lucie County Courthouse via the St. Lucie County Sheriff s Office. In 2013, Mateen allegedly made threatening comments to a co-worker at the St. Lucie County Courthouse.

Mateen repeatedly threatened his colleagues, including an instance in which he told a deputy sheriff that he, Mateen, would have the terror group al-Qaeda kill the co-worker s family, the lawsuit said. During this time period, Mateen bragged to a co-worker about being associated with the Boston Marathon bombers. This led the Sheriff s Office to push G4S to reassign Mateen. He was sent to guard PGA Village in Port St. Lucie where he worked until he died in that exchange of gunfire June 12, 2016.

G4S maintains it did nothing wrong in employing and evaluating Mateen s work behavior, adding that the company s procedures complied with federal, state, and local law.

In Mateen s case, his background investigations were clean and all processes and procedures were followed in accordance with policy, G4S statement to CBS12 said. G4S also learned that the FBI had investigated Mateen, found nothing of concern, and closed its investigation. It is important to note that G4S was never given any information, either by law enforcement authorities or Mateen s co-workers, which caused G4S to question Mateen s continued employment with the company.

With the lawsuit still pending in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, there has been no determination when a jury trial could be scheduled, or how long such a trial could be.

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