In the wake of Sunday morning’s tragedy at the popular gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, a former classmate of the shooter Omar Mateen’s 2006 police academy believed Mateen to be gay. The classmate is asking to stay anonymous at this time but states this all stemmed when Mateen asked him out romantically. “We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate continued, according to the Palm Beach Post. According to the anonymous source, Mateen was a “socially awkward” person and reclusive about being gay.
Kevin West, a regular at Pulse nightclub, said Omar Mateen infrequently messaged him for a year before the shooting, using Jack’d, a gay chat and dating app. West never met Mateen until early that Sunday morning when he was dropping off a friend at the club. “He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’ ” and nodded his head, West said. “I could tell by the eyes.”
Many regulars of Pulse told the Orlando Sentinel on Monday that they believed to have seen Mateen there before. Ty Smith who also goes by Aries told the Orlando Sentinel that “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.”
He goes on to saying that he’s seen Mateen at the club before at least a dozen times.