Omar Mateen, the lone gunman who carried out the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, visited Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on more than one occasion, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“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,” said Ty Smith, a frequent patron of the club.
The Los Angeles Times reports four people saw Mateen multiple times at the LGBTQ nightclub where he used a semiautomatic and a handgun to murder 49 people and injure over 50 early Sunday morning.
“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.”
One patron, Kevin West, said that he and Mateen exchanged messages off and on for about a year on Jack’d, a dating app used by gay men. They never met until West walked past Mateen as he entered the club an hour before the deadly rampage.
“He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’ and nodded his head,” West told the Times. “I could tell by the eyes.”
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said he had no information on Mateen’s former sightings.
Many harrowing details have emerged about Mateen, including reports that he pledged allegiance to ISIS before and during the attack. He allegedly announced solidarity with the Tsarnaev brothers, responsible for the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
The FBI confirms they investigated Mateen in 2013 and 2014 and added his name to a terror watch list. He was removed after an investigation proved no substantial leads.
SOURCES: Orlando Sentinel, Los Angeles Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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Orlando Gunman Visited Pulse Nightclub On Several Occasions was originally published on newsone.com
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