Orlando shooter's wife was 'special education' student — had 'difficulty' understanding things
Orlando shooter and his wife (Photo: Facebook)

A former teacher of the wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter is speaking out as investigators turn to her for information.


The now retired teacher, who wanted to be known only as Susan, taught Noor Zahi Salman at a middle school in Crockett, California, according to a statement to ABC News.

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

Family members confirmed that Susan was Salman's special education teacher, in a rare statement, and validated she was enrolled in special education classes. She was considered a "special day class student," which required she take all of her classes with special education teachers. The family's statement said she was enrolled in the classes because she needed a little extra help getting through her classes.

"Noor is completely innocent and [was] unaware of the attack," the statement said. They expressed that she cannot conceptualize "cause and effect."

The shooter's ex-wife Sitora Yusifiy alleged he was an abusive husband who beat her repeatedly. “He was not a stable person,” she told The Washington Post.

Salman married the shooter September 2011 after the two met online. She continues being investigated by the FBI.