Former Teacher: Orlando Nightclub Gunman’s Wife Had ‘Difficulty’ Understanding Things

ABC News(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- The wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter had learning difficulties when she was in middle school and was enrolled in special education classes, according to her now retired teacher in California.

Susan was Noor Zahi Salman's teacher at her middle school in Crockett, California. ABC News is not using Susan's full name or showing her face at her request.

"Noor had difficulty with retention, she had difficulty with conceptualizing, understanding, all challenges to her," Susan said. "She tried hard. She was very sweet."

Her family confirmed Susan was Salman's special education teacher and that she was enrolled in special education classes.

Susan said Noor Salman was considered a "special day class student", meaning she had to take all of her classes with special education teachers.

Noor Salman's family released a rare statement to ABC News after confirming she was a special education student. Salman is currently under investigation by the FBI for possible links to her husband's killing of 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando last weekend.

"Noor is completely innocent and [was] unaware of the attacks," the statement said, adding she doesn't understand "cause and effect." The family said Salman was enrolled in special education classes because she needed extra help in school.

Omar Mateen and Noor Salman, 30, were married in September 2011 after meeting online.

The FBI investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfires

California anticipates much-needed rain this week after catastrophic wildfiresGoogle Earth(NEW YORK) -- Ravaged by a slew of deadly wildfires in recent days, northern California is set to get a bit of relief this week in the form of rain.

A storm system is expected to move over the Pacific Northwest later this week and the trailing cold front will most likely bring some much-needed rain to northern California between Thursday and Friday, according to ABC meteorologists.

"It will rain a bit but not enough to fully douse the blazes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said in a statement Tuesday. "The biggest advantage to firefighters will be the increase in humidity and lower temperatures."

Massive wildfires have charred more than 245,000 acres of land statewide in the past week, killing at least 41 people and destroying thousands of homes, according to authorities.

Firefighters were battling about a dozen wildfires as of late Tuesday evening, although most of them were more than halfway contained.

“The weather today will be warm with low humidity, which will continue to challenge firefighters, but only light winds are forecast,” CalFire said in a statement on Tuesday. “A chance of precipitation is expected to arrive later in the week, bringing relief from the dry conditions.”

The northern parts of the Golden State, which has bared the brunt of the fire damage, is forecast to see an influx of cloudy, cooler and wetter weather later in the week, according to AccuWeather.

Spotter from Los Osos was reporting sprinkles from this high level moisture. Dry at lower levels. Rain evaporates. Also called "Virga" #cawx pic.twitter.com/sgxj3bdXZQ

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) October 18, 2017

However, a return of dry air, heat and areas of gusty winds could once again raise the wildfire danger early next week, meteorologists said.

Separately, a band of moisture, referred to as Atmospheric River by weather experts, is currently stretching between Asia and North America. It’s expected to bring several storm systems into many parts of the Pacific Northwest through the rest of the week.

The first of these storms have already hit the Pacific Northwest with wind gusts of between 40 and 74 mph.

A number of wind warnings and flood watches are in effect in the western and northern parts of the U.S. ahead of the storm.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.