New details continue to surface about the life of Omar Mateen, the man who shot and killed 49 patrons in a gay Orlando club early Sunday morning, that paint a portrait of a figure full of contradictions — including that he may have been gay himself.
Mateen was apparently involved in Orlando's local gay scene and was a regular at Pulse, the night club that he shot up, according to multiple reports from people who knew him and patrons of the club.
"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," Pulse patron Ty Smith told the Orlando Sentinel.
He also used a gay dating app to meet men, a man named Kevin West told the LA Times, who reportedly exchanged messages with Mateen.
A former classmate of Mateen's told the Palm Beach Post that they hung out together in the local gay scene and he believed Mateen was deeply uncomfortable with his identity.
"He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him," Mateen's former classmate, who did not give his name, told the Post. "He was always socially awkward."
Mateen's ex-wife Sitora Yusufiy, who said he was abusive and unstable when they were married, also said in several interviews that she was not sure about his sexuality. She told Brazilian television channel SBT that Mateen had "gay tendencies" and that she remembers his father accusing him of being gay several times. Yusufiy also told the New York Times that she thought he was gay but kept it a secret because he was deeply ashamed.
As a fuller picture emerges of Mateen's life history, it appears that his rampage on Sunday was motivated by a violent combination of radical Islamic ideology and homophobia. He had previously been under federal investigation for possible ties to terrorism and had once claimed allegiance to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, the FBI said. In the middle of the shooting spree at Pulse, Mateen made a call to 911 and pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State, which later took responsibility for the attack.
Mateen's father Seddique Mateen, who immigrated to the US from Afghanistan, shared his own anti-gay views in a video posted to Facebook on Monday. The elder Mateen said homosexuality is "not an issue humans should deal with" but that did not believe his son carried out the attack at Pulse specifically to punish the gay community because they were already doomed.
"God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality," Seddique Mateen said in the video. "This is not for the servants" of God.