Omar Mateen failed several times to start a career in law enforcement, with his most recent denial coming a little more than a year before he killed 49 people in a shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, according to records released Thursday.
In April 2007, the Florida Department of Corrections dismissed Mateen from a corrections officer training program in Martin County after just six months.
Mateen sought to become a state trooper in 2011 and then tried to enroll in the police academy at Indian River State College in 2015, according to state and college records.
But he never gained admission, and instead worked for Jupiter-based security company G4S for nearly nine years. His posts with G4S included the St. Lucie County Courthouse and PGA Village, a gated community in Port St. Lucie.
In March 2015, Indian River State College denied Mateen entry into the law enforcement academy, according to records obtained from the college. The letter states "information was discovered" that caused Mateen's application to be denied, but the letter does not elaborate.
"The Law Enforcement Academy is a selective admission program, and discrepancies in some of the information included on the application as well as marijuana use precluded his acceptance," said Robert Lane, a spokesman for Indian River State College.
In an application released by the college, Mateen indicated past use of marijuana and steroids. The form, which was completed in 2015, asks for all arrests, including those that have been expunged or sealed. He answered that he was once arrested. No further explanation of the arrest was provided on the form.
When applying for his corrections officer job in 2006, he wrote he was charged with battery because of a fight he got into during a math class.
"It has been five years since the fight occurred, and I have not gotten in any altercations ending up in physical contact," Mateen wrote. "This was an experience of me growing up and I learned a big lesson from it. I was 14 years old when this fight occurred."
During his freshman year, Mateen was placed into alternative school because of fighting, according to state records.
Mateen indicated in 2015 that he had been questioned as a suspect in a crime and had participated in undetected criminal activity in his life, such as shoplifting or underage drinking.
In the medical section, he left blank a question asking whether he was taking any prescription medication. He responded that he did not drink alcohol.
Mateen earned an associate's degree in criminal justice in 2006 from Indian River State College, but his efforts to become a law enforcement officer went awry, records show.
The Florida Department of Corrections hired Mateen, then 19, in October 2006 to work at Martin Correctional Institute. Six months later, Mateen was dismissed for not completing his training program, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
The reason for separation is listed in state records as "administrative termination (not involving misconduct)."
The Department of Corrections has not determined exactly what led to Mateen's dismissal, said Alberto Moscoso, a spokesman for the agency. Because Mateen was dismissed during his probationary period, his personnel file does not include those details, according to the agency.
"We are really having to go back and dig to get these things together," Moscoso said. "We are very actively researching."
An evaluation included in Mateen's personnel file lists him as "meeting expectations" in every category. The supervisor wrote that with more training, Mateen would become a "good correctional officer."
Just five months after being dismissed from the training program at Martin Correctional Institute, Mateen landed a position with G4S and secured a special firearms permit from the state.
G4S conducted background checks when Mateen was hired and then again in 2013 with no findings, according to a company statement. He also was declared mentally and emotionally sound in a psychological evaluation that was performed when he was hired.
While working at the St. Lucie County Courthouse, co-workers grew disturbed by inflammatory comments Mateen made, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said. That matter was reported to the FBI, but no charges were brought, he said.
G4S was aware of the FBI investigation, but it never knew of alleged connections between Mateen and terrorists, according to the company's statement.
Frank Mariano, 30, who went to school with Mateen, said classmates remember that Mateen wanted to become a police officer. Mateen wore shirts with NYPD patches.
In 2005, Mateen was hurt during a ride-along with a St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office deputy, according to an incident report. The deputy crashed while responding to a rollover wreck, and Mateen asked to be taken to the hospital to be checked out, according to the report.
Aurelia Kennedy, 35, who frequently saw Mateen while visiting her parents at PGA Village, recalled his car had a U.S. Marines license plate.
She said she assumed he was a veteran and thanked him for his service. He never refuted it, Kennedy said, but state records indicate Mateen never served in the military.
Mateen's email handle was "onpatrol1986," according to information he submitted to obtain a state firearms license.
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