Orlando Shooter Had Visited Pulse Nightclub Several Times, Used Gay Chat Apps: Witnesses
In the wake of an attack that left 49 people dead at a popular gay nightclub, reports have emerged that suggest the shooter may have been gay himself.
Witnesses at Pulse have told the Orlando Sentinel they'd occasionally seen Omar Mateen, who police identified as the shooter, inside the bar.
At least four patrons say they'd seen the 29-year-old during about a dozen visits he made to the bar.
What's more, one Pulse customer reportedly showed authorities a photo of Mateen on a gay chat app.
Pulse regular Kevin West told the LA Times that he chatted with Mateen off and on using the app Jack'd over the course of a year, but said they never met in person.
A message left with the parent company of Jack'd was not immediately returned.
A man who calls himself a former community college classmate of Mateen's has also weighed in on the debate about the shooter's homosexuality.
The unnamed man told the Palm Beach Post that he went out to gay bars with Mateen and others and that Mateen once even asked him out romantically.
The man said he was not out at the time and turned down Mateen's offer.
Asked if she believed he was gay, Mateen's ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said she did not know. However, she told CNN Mateen always had "very strong feelings" about homosexuality.
Mateen was killed Sunday following a three hour standoff with authorities. Police say he took an AR-15 style weapon into Pulse, where he killed 49 people at about 2 a.m.
Fifty-three people were taken to the hospital with injuries, at least five of them categorized as "grave."