The patio door to Apartment 107 was open for a time Monday afternoon. It was owned by the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen.
From the patio outside, you could see family photos on the wall. There are children in the pictures, and a balloon nearby. Shoes wait by the front door. There’s a dumbbell on the floor.
Nothing that shouts a terrorist lived here.
“We’ve talked to someone from Sweden, from Japan," said neighbor Veronica Beers. She and her husband Jason have marveled as this global story plays out at their doorstep.
“It’s scary. What else could have been capable of? I mean thank God nothing happened here in our own condos," said Veronica Beers.
Camera crews from everywhere crowded the parking lot, just feet from a Toyota Camry marked by evidence stickers — car that appears to be owned by the suspected shooter. His name is on a search warrant and other documents left out on the drivers seat.
A neighbor took video of the FBI evidence collection team working on the car overnight.
Jason Beers says pleasantries are often exchanged in the complex, but the shooter never acknowledged them.
“Just give you a glance like ‘keep moving.' After a while, you don’t say hello to someone like that. It’s like, whatever, just go about your day," said Beers.
Jason and Veronica say while their neighborhood is stained by the news now, in time things will get better.
“This is a slap in the face to have this man live in our community and do what he did to those people in Orlando/ That’s horrific, and it hurts a community, but it’s not going to keep us down."
There's a reason why the door to the gunman's apartment was open for a time. According to Fort Pierce police, someone broke in after the FBI had left the scene secured. There is a burglary case underway separate from the terror investigation.
— Jon Shainman (@JonShainman) June 13, 2016