Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mir Seddique Mateen was himself gay, according to a former classmate at a Florida police academy, raising new questions about the true motive that drove the 29-year-old to kill 49 people at an LGBT nightclub early Sunday morning, in the worst one-person mass shooting in United States history.
The Orlando shooting suspect was a member of the class of 2006 at Indian River Community College police academy in Fort Pierce, Florida. A male classmate spoke to the Palm Beach Post newspaper on Monday, revealing that the man who would become the Orlando shooter was gay and that the pair would sometimes socialize informally at gay nightclubs following classes at the academy.
More and more evidence suggesting that Omar Mateen was deeply struggling with his sexual orientation https://t.co/i0eJ27vBmd
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) June 14, 2016
The classmate, who requested that the newspaper withhold his name, said that on one occasion, Mateen asked to date him, romantically.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the classmate told The Post.
According to a statement by the shooting suspect’s father, Sidiqque Mir Mateen, his son had recently become filled with rage at the sight of two men kissing in Miami and that his rage at witnessing the behavior may have set off his Orlando killing spree.
But the father himself has also previously posted online videos containing anti-gay statements. In the following video, posted Monday, the elder Mateen apologized for the Orlando shooting massacre, adding that he believes that only God can judge homosexual behavior.
The shooting has been widely described as an act of “Islamic” terrorism, due to the fact that the suspected mass killer was a Muslim whose parents were immigrants from Afghanistan, and the shooter reportedly called 911 at some point during his bloody killing spree, a call during which he was said to “pledge allegiance to ISIS,” according to a CNN report.
The Brooklyn-born security guard had also previously been investigated for suspected ties to terrorist organizations, but the FBI said that both of the inquiries it conducted in response to reports about the future Orlando shooting suspect turned up nothing.
Further details about the Orlando shooting suspect uncovered by CBS News are revealed in the video below.
FBI Director James Comey on Monday also revealed that in 2013, Mateen had claimed to be affiliated with the terror group Hezbollah, which raises further doubts about whether his self-proclaimed terrorism contacts were authentic, or simply a product of his disturbed imagination.
Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim terror group, while ISIS and Al Qaeda, with which Mateen also claimed affiliation, are Sunni Muslim terrorist groups. The two sects of the Islamic religion are historical enemies and Hezbollah fights against ISIS and Al Qaeda in the multi-sided Syrian civil war — making the possibility that one terrorist would be affiliated with all three organizations highly unlikely.
The mass killer was himself killed by police in a shootout at Pulse nightclub, a popular nightspot catering to LGBT patrons, where he injured 53 other victims, in addition to the 49 slain on Sunday.
— Regina A. Buitenkant (@margalith) June 14, 2016
In addition to the revelation by a classmate of the Orlando shooting suspect, other evidence also indicates that Mateen may have been struggling with his sexual identity. Patrons of Pulse nightclub have said that they recognized Mateen as a frequent visitor to the same club, sometimes becoming belligerent when he was there.
MORE ORLANDO SHOOTING COVERAGE FROM THE INQUISITR:
Omar Mateen Spotted At Pulse Nightclub Before, Was A Bit Of A ‘Regular’
Orlando Shooting Victims: Gun Control Legislation Introduced To Prevent Shooters From Purchasing Guns
Orlando Terrorist Attack Video: Witness Footage Shows Gunfire, Chaos As Omar Mateen Opened Fire At Pulse Nightclub
Father of Orlando Shooter Claims Son’s Rage Was Triggered by Gay Men Kissing
Police Officially Name Gunman In Pulse Nightclub In Orlando – Who Is He? What Was His Motive?
Orlando Shooter’s Father Says Son Shouldn’t Have Killed Any Gay People Because God Will Punish Them Later
Law enforcement officials also said that they are looking into evidence that the Orlando shooting suspect set up profiles enabling him to use online gay dating sites.
Mateen had previously been married, but the marriage was brief and marked by horrifying abuse, according to the ex-wife of the Orlando shooting suspect, Sitora Yusufiy, who described her former husband as mentally ill and a violent domestic abuser, as well as a steroid user.
[Featured Photo via Omar Mateen MySpace Page]