With each passing day, new details emerge that paint a complicated portrait of Omar Mateen. Here's the latest.
FBI officials told the Associated Press Tuesday that the Orlando gunman who committed the worst mass shooting in modern American history frequented the gay nightclub he attacked and had profiles on gay dating apps.
Earlier reports noted gunman Omar Mateen’s strong anti-gay hatred—with his father telling NBC News Monday that his son had been angered after seeing two men kissing in downtown Miami—but new information suggests Mateen’s motivations were more complex.
Regulars at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where Mateen killed 49 people this past weekend, told the Orlando Sentinel that they’d seen the club’s attacker at the venue a number of times.
Kevin West, who also frequented Pulse, told the Los Angeles Times that he’d talked to Mateen irregularly on the gay dating app, Jack’d, for about a year before the shooting. West said he saw Mateen outside Pulse on the night of the massacre wearing a dark cap, and they said ‘Hey’ to each other.
Chris Callen, a performer at Pulse who had also seen Mateen at the club several times, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “He was very friendly when we said, ‘Hi.’ He didn't seem like the kind of guy who just did what he did. It makes no sense.”
“There were definitely moments when he’d express his intolerance toward homosexuals,” Yusufiy told the New York Times Monday.
Gilroy, who worked with Mateen for a year in the guard house at a gated community in Florida, told the Times that the gunman “was very racist, very sexist, anti-Jew, antihomosexual and he made it known by derogatory statements as much as he could.”
Yusufiy described her ex-husband’s abusive nature in numerous interviews, saying, “He was not a stable person.”
Questions about the gunman’s radicalization and affiliation with extremist groups continue, with President Obama saying Monday that the killer is an example of a “homegrown extremist”.
Reports Tuesday revealed that Mateen’s wife, Noor Zahi Salman, apparently was aware of her husband’s plans in some capacity before the shooting, and attempted to talk him out of it, according to NBC News. She could face charges for not telling authorities about his plans, but continues to cooperate with investigators.