Metro Weekly

Report: Orlando shooter allegedly a regular at nightclub, possibly used gay dating apps

Omar Mateen was apparently a regular at Pulse nightclub

Omar Mateen
Omar Mateen

Reports are coming in alleging that Omar Mateen, who murdered 49 people and injured another 53 when he opened fire in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, was a regular of the club and used gay dating apps.

“It’s the same guy,” said Chris Callen, a drag performer at Pulse nightclub, told Canada’s CJAD. “He’s been going to this bar for at least three years.”

Regarding Mateen’s father’s assertion that he carried out the attack after seeing two men kiss, another performer said: “That’s bullcrap, right there.”

“No offence, that’s straight-up crap,” said Ty Smith. “He’s been around us. Some of those people did a little more than (kiss) outside the bar…. He was partying with the people who supposedly drove him to do this?

“[He’d get] really, really drunk,” Smith continued. “He couldn’t drink when he was at home — around his wife, or family. His father was really strict… He used to bitch about it.”

Both men cast doubt on the story proliferated by Seddique Mateen, the shooter’s father, that Mateen was a happy family man who just snapped.

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

Callen and Smith stopped talking to Mateen after his violent side became apparent. The married couple confirmed to CJAD that Mateen had a fiery temper, something he demonstrated after someone made a joke that he didn’t approve of.

“He ended up pulling a knife,” Callen said. “He said if he ever messed with him again, you know how it’ll turn out.”

MSNBC host Chris Hayes has tweeted that he’s heard reports that Mateen used gay dating apps and messaged other users.

Hayes had also spoken to patrons of Pulse who confirmed that they had seen Mateen in the nightclub.

Hayes will reportedly explore this further on his MSNBC show All In with Chris Hayes (8/7c).

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