The ex-wife of Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Saddiqui Mateen describes him as mentally unstable and ill, and characterizing their brief marriage as "hell."
Sitora Yusufiy spoke to reporters late Sunday about the four months she was married to the man responsible for the worst mass killing in U.S. history.
Yusufiy said Mateen was "normal" at the beginning of their marriage, but soon started getting angry seemingly out of nowhere.
Suspected Orlando shooter Omar Mateen. (Orlando Police Department)
She said Mateen became physically abusive, flying into rages and beating her for little reason, such as if the laundry was not done when he came home from work.
She said her husband treated her like a hostage and kept her from seeing her family. She said with her family's help, she finally was able to get away one day, leaving all her belongings behind.
Yusufiy said despite his bad temper, the news that it was her ex-husband who was behind a mass murder "shook me off the ground," and that this was something she would never have expected.
Homophobia as motive?
Mateen's father, Mir Seddique, told the NBC television network that his son may have been motivated by homophobia and not by his Muslim faith.
"This had nothing to do with religion," Seddique said as he recalled a recent incident in downtown Miami, another Florida city.
"He saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry," the father said. "They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, 'Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom and men were kissing each other."
Seddique apologized to the victims of the shooting. He said relatives "weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country."