Orlando gun store owner: ‘We called FBI on Omar Mateen before shooting’

The co-owner of a Florida gun store says his employees contacted the FBI before the Orlando shooting when the shooter, Omar Mateen, attempted to purchase body armor and ammunition.


Robbie Abell, co-owner of Lotus Gunworks, said his workers had a “gut feeling” about Mateen’s character when he came to the store four or five weeks ago.

Abell told reporters “we contacted FBI direct” after Mateen left the store and believes his employees did what they should have done.

CBS News reports:

Mateen asked for level 3 body armor, according to Abell, but was told the store didn’t carry it. He then made a phone call and spoke in Arabic before asking for bulk ammunition, but employees did not sell it to him.

Law enforcement officials have told CBS News at this point, they have not found any evidence that the gun shop contacted police about Mateen’s alleged suspicious behavior.

Abell added that his employees believed Mateen was “very suspicious,” so they reported the incident to the local FBI office in West Palm Beach. But the store didn’t have the man’s name, since no sale was made, and the only surveillance footage they had was grainy.

“We gave them information and everything that took place, and that was the end of the conversation,” he said.

Public affairs officials for the FBI’s Miami field office, which oversees the West Palm Beach satellite office, and at headquarters in Washington, D.C., declined comment, reports ABC News.

Stephen Rowe via, Hypeline | Photo: ABC News

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