Florida: Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen visited online gay chat rooms despite expressing outrage at the sight of two men kissing and making inflammatory comments about gays, law enforcement officers said on Wednesday.
Investigators do not know if he visited the chat rooms for personal reasons or for surveillance before carrying out the brutal attack early Sunday at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding more than 50 others.
Days after the attack — the deadliest mass shooting in US history — sources revealed he not only visited gay chat rooms, he also frequented the same nightclub he would eventually
A former colleague has said Mateen constantly made homophobic, sexist and racist remarks.
FBI agents were interviewing people who claim they met the gunman on gay dating apps, a law enforcement official told CNN. Those claims “certainly change the perspective,” the source said.
No men have publicly come forward claiming to have had sexual contact with him.
After reports emerged his son had visited Pulse several times before the massacre, Seddique Mateen, father of Omar, said he saw nothing implying his son was gay.
“I don’t know if he was, if that was his way of his life, but I don’t believe so,” Seddique Mateen told reporters at his home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He emphasized his belief that his son, who was married with a child, was straight.
The gunman’s first wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said she was not sure about his sexuality.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he might be gay. And it doesn’t surprise me that he was leading two totally different lives and was in such deep conflict within himself,” she said. “I hope people can truly understand that this is one insane person that did such a tragic thing.”