FBI: Men, women claim relationships with Pulse nightclub shooter

Omar Mateen used online dating sites seeking men, women, source says

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ORLANDO, Fla. – A law enforcement official said Omar Mateen was a frequent user of online dating sites seeking both men and women, according to CBS News.

The official said men and women have come forward to the FBI claiming to have had relationships with Mateen and all of those claims are being investigated.

A man whose face and voice were disguised told Univision that he had had a sexual relationship with Mateen for 2 months late last year.

"He was very sweet guy, he loved to be cuddled," said the man in a recorded interview with Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas that aired Tuesday night. "He had to confess something, that 'I have a wife'... I asked him 'does you wife know' and he said 'yes she know everything.'"

The man said during the interview that he believes Mateen murdered 49 people at Pulse because he was seeking revenge for being treated poorly by Hispanic men he had met at Pulse. One example, he said, is when Mateen learned from a male Hispanic partner only after sex that the partner was HIV positive.

"I believe this crazy horrible thing he did - that was revenge," said the man. "You think it was revenge for gay Puerto Ricans from when he felt rejected? Yes I do."

The man also told Salinas that Mateen's father was homophobic and anti-gay.

"Gay people [are] the devil and gay people have to die," said the man. "That's what his father told him. He told me when his father find out I'm gay, he want to kill me."

The man said he and Mateen would have been recorded on video at the Ambassador Hotel in Orlando, but Univision said it was unable to independently confirm the man's story. Univision said, however, the FBI said it had interviewed the man.

CBS News reported that Mateen came to Pulse twice the night of the massacre. After the first time, he left for around 2 hours. Investigators have not said if they know where he went.

The Washington Post reports that a Belle Isle police officer, who claims to have been part of the backup unit of officers who entered Pulse minutes after the first time an off-duty officer engaged Mateen, was told to hold his position "15 or 20 minutes or longer" until the SWAT team arrived.

Orlando Police Department spokesperson Wanda Miglio responded to the allegation with this statement:

"We have no ability to confirm anything that an officer from another agency says," said Miglio. "This is a federal investigation and it is ongoing. That is why our officers are adhering to department policy and not speaking to anyone at this time except federal investigators and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is investigating the officer involved shooting.

"We know that everyone is hungry for more information. But please keep in mind that it is not uncommon in these type of high stress situations for statements of both witnesses and officers to vary based on their experience level, stress, vantage point, and many other factors.

"While we endeavor to be as transparent as possible, we ask that everyone please be patient and respect the investigative process. The Orlando Police Department will also be completing a detailed after action report, much like the one completed by Aurora PD after the theater shooting in Colorado."


About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.