Orlando shooter was regular at gay nightclub he rampaged

By AFP
Published: June 14, 2016
Email
An undated photo from a social media account of Omar Mateen, who Orlando Police have identified as the suspect in the mass shooting at a gay nighclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

An undated photo from a social media account of Omar Mateen, who Orlando Police have identified as the suspect in the mass shooting at a gay nighclub in Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ORLANDO: The gunman who massacred 49 people at the Pulse club in Orlando was himself a regular at the gay nightspot, four clubgoers told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday.

“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith told the Sentinel, referring to slain shooter Omar Mateen, 29.

He was mentally unstable, says ex-wife of suspected Orlando shooter

Smith told the paper that he saw Mateen inside at least a dozen times.

“We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” Smith said. “He told us he had a wife and child.”

Another Pulse regular, Kevin West, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app.

And other clubgoers told local media and MSNBC that Mateen had been using multiple gay apps, including Grindr, with mutual acquaintances to “hook up.”

Deadly rampage: Orlando hit by worst shooting in US history

Mateen also was at Walt Disney World in April, said a Disney manager who requested anonymity.

His wife, Noor Zahi Salman, was not cooperating with authorities, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Sentinel said.

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others wounded in the attack, which was also the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

FBI chief James Comey said his bureau was “highly confident” Mateen had been “radicalized” while consuming online propaganda and that he had claimed allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a series of calls during the attack.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (3)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jun 14, 2016 - 1:05PM

    Why drag his wife in this . If anything , its his father who is at fault with his views on Taliban and Afghanistan . Like father , like son …Recommend

  • oats
    Jun 14, 2016 - 8:06PM

    @Bunny Rabbit: Sounds like he had issues with his own homosexuality if he was active on gay sites and had homosexual hook ups. Homosexuality exists in Afghan culture as it does in all cultures but it is even more accepted among young Afghan men. The practice of bache bazi is well known throughout Afghanistan which is why Afghans in the US have had the nick name Assghanis. I wonder if this whole tragedy has something to do with self hate and confusion as well as mass murder, It needs to be properly investigated in order that such incidents are never repeated.Recommend

  • quatro
    Jun 15, 2016 - 5:18AM

    Drunk, homosexual, and Muslim … bad combo. No wonder he had issues. Recommend

More in World