The Orlando gunman that killed 50 people in a LGBTQ nightclub was a regular user of gay dating apps.
This is according to a number of gay men who have said they were messaged by Omar Mateen on various dating platforms.
The news comes in the aftermath of the horrific shooting last Sunday, as an increasing number of reports are surfacing that suggest Omar Mateen was a closeted homosexual.
Regular visitors to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, said they had seen Mateen “several” times in the club before the shooting, dating back to 2013.
And one man, Pulse visitor Cord Cedeno, told MSNBC that 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.
But Cedeno told MSNBC that he blocked Mateen when he messaged him “because he was very creepy”.
Another Pulse regular, Ty Smith, also said he recognised the killer, telling the Orlando Sentinel he had seen him at the nightclub before:
“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.”
One man who said he had exchanged messages with Mateen on gay dating app Jack’d, Kevin West, said he saw the shooter crossing the street to Pulse nightclub at 1am on Sunday as he was dropping his friend off at the club.
West said: “He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’ and nodded his head. I could tell by the eyes.”
And the FBI has now confirmed to NBC News that it is investigating the claims about Mateen’s presence on dating apps, saying: “Watch that space”.
Sunday’s shooting was America’s deadliest mass shooting in history, with 50 people killed and over 50 wounded.