The world weeps with the LGBT community in the aftermath of the heartbreaking Orlando shooting at Pulse club. As more information surface about Omar Mateen’s true personality, could the killer be a victim of homophobia himself? Could he be that son who wanted so much to come out but pressure from his religion or his very own father compelled him otherwise?
Mateen once asked a guy out for a date. The classmate, who has spoken on condition of anonymity, said he knew back then that Mateen was gay. They were both attending a police academy class back in 2016 at the Indian River Community College.
The unnamed source said together with Mateen, the class would hang out in different gay nightclubs.
“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, whom Mateen asked out romantically, told Palm Beach Post.
The former love interest believed that Mateen was gay but was not ready to come out. He described the Orlando shooter as awkward. “He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him. He was always socially awkward,” he said.
Mateen was also found to have used a gay dating and chat app. According to Kevin West, who has spoken with the Los Angeles Times, Mateen had been sending him messages for a year before the Orlando shooting take place.
While they were not able to agree on date and time for a meet up, West saw Mateen early Sunday morning – an hour before the Orlando shooting happened.
West said he exchanged greeting with Mateen. “He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’and nodded his head. I could tell by the eyes.”
At least four regulars at the Pulse nightclub also revealed that they saw Mateen 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,” Ty Smith told the Orlando Sentinel.
“We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” he said.