Omar Mateen, the gunman who murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, may have actually been gay himself and was leading a double life.
Mateen’s horrifying attack on Pulse nightclub was initially thought to be a homophobic attack rooted in extremist Islamic ideology.
But now his ex-wife, a former police academy classmate and clubbers have stepped forward to say they think Mateen was gay and had been visiting Pulse since 2013.
Investigators think he could have traveled to Pulse – which was a two hour drive from his home in Fort Pierce in Southern Florida – so he wouldn’t have been seen.
It’s also been revealed that Mateen used gay dating apps Grindr and Jack’d to chat to men online and was friends with drag queens at the club.
Signs that Mateen could have been gay emerged as far back as 2006 when he asked a male classmate out on a date.
At the time Mateen was said to be going to gay clubs and chatting up men.
Several regulars at the club told the Orlando Sentinel Mateen had visited before and told drinkers he had a child, as well as talking about his father.
“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 said.
Another frequent patron at Pulse, Jim Van Horn, described Mateen as a “regular”.