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Orlando Shooter Mateen Rejected from Criminal Justice Program

by Chris Francescani /
Image: Noor Mateen and Omar Mateen
Noor Mateen and her husband Pulse gunman, Omar Mateen, from a Facebook profile photo.via Facebook

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A student at the college where Omar Mateen applied for an intensive six-month law enforcement training program told NBC News Wednesday that the Orlando shooter was rejected from the program in 2015 -- confirming what Mateen's father told NBC News Tuesday.

One student said he saw Mateen on the campus of Indian River State College in spring 2015 and another said that since Sunday’s shooting he had been told by an instructor in the IRSC's criminal justice program that Mateen was rejected.

Mike Brown, 18, a criminal justice major, said he saw Mateen inside the criminal justice department of the Treasure Coast Public Safety training complex at IRSC in spring 2015, most likely in April.

He said he "got chills" when he saw Mateen's "selfie" picture in the media.

"I could not believe it," Brown said.

"He was just walking through the halls. He had on a gray shirt and shorts and running shoes. So when I saw his picture, I was like 'Oh my God, no way!'"

Brown was signing up for what he called the "Academy Track" -- a two-year program that includes the six-month intensive training program to which Mateen reportedly applied. The program is meant to be hands-on and to prepare students to work as law enforcement officers.

"To think that I could have been sitting beside him in class just blows my mind, you know? It's scary to think about."

A second student, Tyler Dockswell, said his instructor told him and his classmates this week that Mateen's application to the program had been rejected.

Dockswell declined to name the instructor, but said he and his classmates discussed the news afterwards.

"We couldn't believe it," Dockswell said.

Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, told NBC News Tuesday that his son had been rejected from the program.

“I worked very hard to put him in the police academy,” the father said.

The Florida Dept of Law Enforcement said that Mateen filed a complaint, claiming he was turned away because he was Muslim.

Indian River State College spokesman Robert Lane declined to confirm Mateen's reported application for the intensive six-month training course.

In a statement, Lane said that "Omar Mateen did receive his Applied Science degree in criminal justice technology [from the school] in 2006. Beyond that we are referring media inquiries to the FBI's media line."

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