An Hispanic man who claims to have been the lover of the Orlando gunman, has said that Omar Mateen carried out his attack as an act of revenge after fearing he had been exposed to HIV.
In the aftermath of the attack on a gay nightclub that left 49 people dead and wounded another 50, there was speculation that Mateen may have been gay or bisexual. There were reports that he had visited the club more than a dozen times and had used gay dating apps.
Now, a man who has been identified only as Miguel, said he became Mateen’s lover after connecting with him on Grindr, one of the dating apps. He said Mateen was a confused man, struggling with sexuality and Muslim upbringing. He said he was a heavy drinker who was attracted to Latinos but felt rejected by them.
Speaking to Univision, Miguel said that he believed that Mateen had engaged in sex acts with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom was HIV positive.
While Mateen had tested negative, he feared the results were not accurate and wanted to “make them pay”.
“The thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism,” said Miguel, his face disguised by a mask. “In my opinion he did it for revenge.”
Before the massacre, Miguel insists, Mateen seemed “adorable and sweet” and that he loved to be cuddled. He said that the pair had visited a hotel room more than 20 times.
He said Mateen lashed out when he once tried to take selfies in bed, forcing him to put his phone down. The 29-year-old eventually revealed to him that he was married with a child, he says.
After an argument, he says, Mateen apologised to him – then told him his wife knew about his gay encounters.
“He hated gay Puerto Ricans for all the bad things he did,” he said.
In the days since Mateen launched his attack on the Pulse night club in the centre of Orlando, more details have emerged his background and upbringing. On Wednesday, it was reported that Mateen had visited the night club earlier that night, leaving for several hours before he returned and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun.
The authorities released more details about the attack and some of the transcripts of the conversations Mateen had with police.
During one of the conversations, Mateen told police he was carrying out the attack in the name of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis. “You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid,” he said.
While Isis subsequently claimed that Mateen was a “soldier of the caliphate”, investigators have said there is no evidence that the gunman was part of a larger conspiracy and that he was most likely self-radicalised.
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