The CEO of a gay dating app it has been claimed the Orlando gunman used to contact other men says the company has no record that the murderer joined the app.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Omar Mateen was a user of gay dating apps in the Orlando area, even visiting the club he killed 49 people in as a customer.
Pulse regular Cord Cedeno said he and some of his friends recognised the 29-year-old gunman from a number of different gay dating apps like Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.
Mateen’s dating activity was also corroborated by others from the LGBTQ community in Orlando, who had also spotted the killer on dating apps.
And the FBI said it was investigating these claims, and told reporters to “watch that space” with regards to Mateen’s use of dating services.
But after these reports, Jack’d CEO Hector Camacho told USA Today that he had not been contacted by law enforcement about whether Mateen used the app.
The CEO also said Jack’d “hasn’t been able to substantiate that Mateen had been a member”, despite the fact that a potentially fake profile screenshot was circulating on the web.
In a post to its Facebook page about the attack, Jack’d wrote:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Orlando.
“At this time, we cannot confirm nor deny reports of an alleged profile of Omar Mateen. Should the claims be substantiated, it is our policy to cooperate with law officials.
“We will continue to cooperate with the authorities and do not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Camacho also said without an email or login, they would be unable to confirm whether Mateen used the app, because the platform does offer an anonymous service.
He said: “We encourage law enforcement authorities to contact us if they have any additional information. We are ready to assist if we can provide any information that would help the investigation.”
Sunday’s shooting was America’s deadliest mass shooting in history, with 49 people killed and over 50 wounded.
Another dating app it was claimed Mateen used was Grindr, who published a long message about the tragedy on its blog:
“The sudden and horrific tragedy that occurred in Orlando is being considered the worst attack ever on the LGBT community. 49 victims lost their lives and over 50 more were wounded at a place where they were supposed to feel safe to be themselves, and a man filled with hatred was allowed to unleash it there. Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone affected.
“A moment like this has the power to make us feel broken and powerless. But as we mourn our losses and try to understand how this could happen, we must also recognize how much work still has to be done.
“Violence occurs against the LGBT community every day in every corner of the world. A significant amount of Grindr users live overseas, some in countries where being gay is still illegal. For those of us that live someplace with greater tolerance, this reality — and the reality of the violence that unfolded over the weekend — is difficult to imagine.
“The stories we hear from these places haunt us. But for every Orlando or Syria or Indonesia, we keep count and we remember. And we will not stop until every queer identified individual is safe to live as any other. We owe it to our global community and ourselves to make that promise.
“So remember to stand tall together. To move forward through the darkness. To ignite change everywhere.
“We are equal, not afraid.”
Mateen killed 49 people on Sunday before also dying in a shootout with police, with another 53 in hospital and six in intensive care.
Read more about the dating app claims here.