The gunman who attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday 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 Omar Mateen, 29, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
“We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” added Smith, who also goes by the name Aries. “He told us he had a wife and child.”
Smith added he had seen Mateen at Pulse nightclub 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.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina on Monday said he had no information about the gunman’s reported visits to Pulse.
Mateen killed 49 people at Pulse in the shooting and died in a confrontation with police.
The bloodshed occurred during Pride Month, fueling speculation Mateen may have struck Pulse over animosity towards the LGBT community.
Seddique Mir Mateen, Omar Mateen’s father, said Sunday his son became “very angry” earlier this year after seeing two men kiss in Miami. He insisted the attack “had nothing to do with religion.”
Omar Mateen reportedly voiced support for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), along with several other terrorist groups.
The FBI had investigated Mateen in the past, putting him on a watch list in 2013, but never brought any charges against him.