New York: Omar Mateen, who gunned down 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, himself might have been gay but chose to hide his true identity out of anger and shame, his former wife has said as authorities looked into reports that the 29-year-old had visited the Florida club several times and also used a gay dating app.
Omar Mateen was 'loud and belligerent' on a few Pulse visits and Sitora Yusufiy, Omar’s ex-wife. Pics/AFP
Sitora Yusufiy said he “might have been gay but chose to hide his true identity out of anger and shame”.
Yusufiy said that her ex-husband had told her that he frequented nightclubs before their marriage, but that he did not tell her they were gay clubs.
Regular at Pulse
CBS News said that club-goers have told investigators that Mateen had been at Pulse previously. The Orlando Sentinel and other news organisations also quoted regular customers as saying they had seen Mateen there a number of times.
“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,” said Ty Smith, a Pulse patron. Smith said he saw Mateen inside the club at least a dozen times.
Another Pulse regular, Kevin West, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app. And other clubgoers told local media and MSNBC that Mateen had been using multiple gay apps, including Grindr, with mutual acquaintances to “hook up.”
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People gathered in Orlando and Los Angeles to pay their respects to the victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre. While some mourners hugged to display their solidarity, others held candles. In LA, Alison Cosio, (below right) one of the mourners, held a photo of her friend Christopher Sanfeliz, who was killed at Pulse. Pics/AFP