An undated image shows Omar Mateen, who authorities say killed dozens of people inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
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Omar Mateen, who authorities say killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Fla. Multiple media outlets are reporting that some Pulse regulars recognized Mateen, saying that he had spent time at the nightclub before the shooting early Sunday. Meanwhile, at least two men have told the media they interacted with Mateen on gay dating apps. Investigators have not commented on the claims.
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The Orlando Sentinel writes that "at least four regular customers" at Pulse said they had seen Mateen before. Ty Smith told the paper that Mateen would sometimes "get so drunk he was loud and belligerent. They noted that straight people patronized the club as well as gay people, and wouldn't speculate on Mateen's sexuality. His father was really strict," Smith said.
Smith and Callen decided to keep their distance from Mateen after they saw him pull a knife at Pulse and threaten another patron, they told the Canadian news agency. But he recognized him — from Jack'd, a gay dating and chat app. A classmate at the police academy in also claims that Omar was gay and that Omar even asked him out, according to the New York Daily News.
And Omar's ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, who claims he was violent towards her, says she believes that he had "gay tendencies," according to the New York Post. Seddique denies that his son was gay and tells the News , "It's not true.
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Why, if he is gay, would he do this? Ty Smith, who frequented the club, says he saw Omar "at least a dozen times," reports The Sentinel. The exact motive for Omar's massacre is not known, but FBI officials are currently checking the terrorist's electronic devices for further clues.
An official from the agency tells the LA Times that "[Omar Mateen] also is believed to have visited other gay venues to check out as potential targets. Orlando Terrorist's Dad: