ORLANDO, Fla. — For the first time since she was acquitted, we are hearing from the Pulse shooter’s wife about the seconds and hours after investigators burst into her home.
The last time we saw Noor Salman was when she walked out of the Orange County Jail on March 30, 2018.
Thursday night, she spoke at a gala fundraiser for the Muslim Legal Fund of America, who helped defend her.
Salman described the moment federal agents woke her up in the early morning hours on January 16, 2017.
“Close your eyes and imagine being asleep,” Salman said. “You open your door to gun, to law enforcement with guns pointed at you. And all you can think about is your scared 4-year-old that just left.”
The arrest and charge of aiding and abetting her husband came more than a year and a half after her husband killed 49 people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.
The FBI claimed she knew what her husband had planned and helped him carry out the attack.
She said she unexpectedly was taken from her home, strip searched, handcuffed and put in a room.
“You sit there alone and hopeless and wonder if you will ever see your child again,” she said.
At the online event for the Muslim Legal Fund of America, a charity that funds legal work and programs to defend Muslims against injustice, she gave an emotional story.
But you don’t see her as she spoke about what it was like being called a villain.
“And despite the life you have lead and the love you have shown others you are accused of causing the the terrible tragic deaths of so many others,” she said.
She spent more than a year in isolation, saying she was innocent and unsure of her fate.
“All you understand is 12 people who do not know you have you fate in their hands,” she said. “There decision to acquit or not acquit is that was most important question in your life.”
She said a once happy girl now only dresses in black and it is hard to see the beauty in the world.
“Today, I jump when I hear sirens, I cannot sleep without a pill and I never want to leave my home,” she said.
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