Wife of Pulse nightclub shooter charged with aiding and abetting

Katie Marzullo Image
ByKatie Marzullo KGO logo
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Wife of Pulse shooter charged with aiding and abetting
The wife of Omar Mateen has been arrested in Rodeo and will appear in an Oakland courtroom Tuesday on an aiding and abetting charge seven months after the Pulse shooting.

RODEO, Calif. -- The U.S. Attorney's Office said the wife of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen has been charged with aiding and abetting Mateen in the deadly attack in Orlando.

Prosecutors said that provided material support to ISIL, the terror group also known as Isis.

Noor Salman was arrested Monday in Rodeo seven months after her husband opened fire inside the Florida nightclub, killing 49 people.

She is scheduled to appear in court in Oakland Tuesday morning, and it's likely the indictment will be unsealed. We will know more about how the FBI came to charge her in connection to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

"She's being charged with aiding and abetting in materially aiding the criminal act," said Legal Analyst Christian Picone. "So she could be prosecuted in essence as a principal. As if she were the person who went to the nightclub."

The Orlando shooter reportedly texted his wife during the attack, and she accompanied him on at least one trip to a gun shop as he bought ammunition.

"She could face whatever maximum sentence that her husband, had he not been killed, would have faced," Picone said.

Salman's attorney, Linda Moreno, released a statement to ABC News: Noor Salman had no foreknown knowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night. Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonors the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person.

FBI agents arrested Salman at her parents' home.

"It was 7:30, 7:45 when I heard the commotion," said neighbor Glauber Franchi. "People walking around, car doors slamming and the dogs went off like crazy, but they never came to my door."

Salman, 30, grew up in Rodeo and married the Orlando gunman in the Bay Area in 2011.