NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Marchers walk down 5th Avenue during the 2014 Gay Pride March on June 29, 2014 in New York City. Thousands of marchers attended the parade route, which started at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue and ended at Greenwich and Christopher streets. The parade ended at the Stonewall Inn, where New York marchers commemorated the 45th anniversary of the 1969 riots, which are credited with launching the modern gay rights movement. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio were in attendance along with grand marshals Laverne Cox, transgender actress and activist, actor Jonathan Groff and Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 


Eric Thayer/Getty Images

"We’re apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”

Rachaell Davis
Jun, 13, 2016

The family of the gunman who claimed the lives of 50 people in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history is speaking out.

As the world struggles to cope with the devastating after effects of gunman Omar Marteen's unspeakable act, his father has come forward to offer some insight into why his son may have done what he did.

In a statement to NBC News on Sunday just hours after details about the shooting began to surface, Marteen's father Mir Seddique said the family was in shock and issued an apology for their son's horrific actions.

50 Dead After Florida Nightclub Shooting Massacre Becomes Deadliest In History

"We’re apologizing for the whole incident,” Seddique’s said in the statement. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”

Although Seddique says he doesn't know for sure why his son choose to target prominent LGBT nightclub The Pulse in the deadly attack, he did reveal that his son "became very angry" when he observed two men kissing in Miami a few months ago, which he believes was part of the motive.

According to CNN, it was later revealed that Marteen made a 911 call during the attack, in which he pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State. Although the Islamic State has since come forward to claim responsibility for the tragedy, the FBI says they have yet to find concrete evidence linking the organization to the attack. 

The names of 48 of the 50 victims have now been made public as family members have been contacted. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the city of Orlando and all affected by this senseless, terrible act of hatred.

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.