Reports: Orlando Shooter Visited Nightclub; Used Gay Dating App (Updated)

Well, this is an interesting twist that makes the whole "terrorism" explanation a little less plausible and a hate crime explanation just a bit more solid.

Omar Mateen, the shooter, apparently frequented the Pulse nightclub several times ahead of the shooting.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Mateen had visited Pulse at least a dozen times, a witness said.

The Sentinel quoted Ty Smith (aka Aries) as saying, "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."

ABC News reports that Mateen used gay dating apps to make contact and find out about which clubs were good ones.

Kevin West told ABC News that Mateen had reached out to him via a dating app called Jack'd.

"When he first contacted me, he was saying things like, 'What clubs are popping and things of that sort, what are good places to go?'" West told ABC. "And I remember telling him, 'Oh, you can just look it up online because I don't go out that much."

If these stories are true, then the scale tilts toward this being a straight-out hate crime, that had very little to do with Islam, and more to do with homophobia.

Update: A former classmate tells the Palm Beach Post that Mateen was gay.

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