A man who said he had a sexual relationship with Orlando shooter Omar Mateen believes Mateen’s murderous rampage at the Pulse LGBT nightclub was prompted by struggles with his sexual identity.
The man, who went by the name “Miguel” to protect his identity, told Univision in an interview out Tuesday that Mateen harbored resentment towards Puerto Rican LGBT men over his sexual relationships with them.
Mateen fatally shot 49 people and wounded 53 others during “Latin night” at Pulse. Nearly half of those killed were of Puerto Rican descent.
Federal officials have labeled the attack both a hate crime and an act of terror, as Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group in a 911 call made during the shooting.
“Miguel,” who said he first met Mateen on gay dating app Grindr, told Univision that he thinks the attack was primarily an act of “revenge” rather than terrorism. He said he believed Mateen was upset by Puerto Rican men who had rejected him and outraged to learn that one Puerto Rican man he slept with was HIV positive.
“He hate gay Puerto Ricans for all the stuff he did to him,” he said. “I believe this crazy horrible thing he did was for revenge.”
He said his “friends with benefits” relationship with Mateen lasted two months and involved 15 to 20 meetings at an Orlando hotel.
A number of regular attendees at Pulse told the press that Mateen frequently stopped by the club and that they recognized him from gay dating sites. Though Mateen was married to his second wife, he reportedly had dating profiles on Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.