Orlando, Fla., Mass Shooter Frequented Gay Nightclub Before Shooting: Report

Omar Mateen
Omar Mateen

The man who killed 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday night had been to the gay nightclub several times before and was reportedly seen by at least four regular customers, the Orlando Sentinel reports.


"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," one witness, Ty Smith, told the news site. Smith said he saw Mateen inside the club at least a dozen times.

"We didn't really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times," Smith said. "He told us he had a wife and child."

Kevin West, another regular at Pulse, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app, Jack'd. The two never actually met, West acknowledged, but he saw Mateen enter the club about 1 a.m. Sunday before he began to shoot.

West said that as soon as he saw the photos of the shooter being released, he went to his local police station, where FBI officials were called in.

"I said, 'That's him,’" West said before handing over his phone and Jack'd log-in information to the federal investigators. The FBI still had his phone as of late Monday.

Read more at the Orlando Sentinel and the Los Angeles Times