A former classmate of Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, believed the 29-year-old killer was gay.
A man who was in the same 2006 police academy class as Mateen told the Palm Beach Post that Mateen once asked him out romantically and said they had spent time together at gay nightclubs after classes at the Indian River Community College police academy.
Officials say Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse, a gay nightclub, early Sunday morning.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” said the former classmate said, who asked that his name not be used.
The man told the Palm Beach Post that he believed Mateen was gay but not open about it.
“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,” he said. “He was always socially awkward.”
Earlier Monday, it was revealed that Mateen was a frequent visitor to the establishment, according to one regular visitor.
“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,” Ty Smith said of the gunman, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Smith added he had seen Mateen at Pulse at least 12 times before the shooter opened fire on the venue early Sunday morning.
The Orlando Sentinel on Monday reported at least four regulars at Pulse, including Smith, recalled seeing Mateen at the nightclub before the attack.