Rumors have been swirling that Omar Mateen was struggling with his sexuality before he killed 49 victims at gay nightclub Pulse over the weekend, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call made during the attack.
Mateen reportedly used gay dating apps Grindr, Adam4Adam, and Jack’d to message men, including Cord Cedeno, who told MSNBC, "I recognize him from one of the apps, but I instantly blocked him because he was, like, very creepy in his messages, and I blocked him immediately… I recognized him off Grindr. [The picture] of him in the tie.” Cedeno said that Mateen would just say “hi" repeatedly until he blocked him.
Though Cedeno only saw Mateen on Grindr, he says four of his other friends claim Mateen was active on the other apps. According to TMZ, Cedeno says he’s heard Mateen sent pics of his penis to men on Adam4Adam, never showing his face. It is unknown if Mateen ever met or had sex with any men he reportedly chatted with on the apps.
Mateen wasn’t only looking for men, he was apparently reaching out to women, too. A woman claims she connected with Mateen on Plenty of Fish, but ended up blocking him for seeming “emotionally unstable.”
From the woman’s initial interaction with Mateen, she says he appeared to be "nice, normal... mentioned he had a child, but said he was single and looking for a good woman to marry." She told TMZ that Mateen eventually ranted to her about Islam, the Quran, and misconceptions about his religion.
Mateen met his first wife Sitora Yusufiy through online dating, but they ended up splitting after just three months of marriage. She told the Washington Post earlier this week, "He was not a stable person. He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that." Yusufiy’s current fiancé, Marco Dias, told Brazilian TV station SBT Brazil that Yusufiy believed her ex-husband had "gay tendencies."