One-Time Pal of Orlando Gunman Reveals He Had Gay Friends, May Have Visited Drag Shows

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 11.32.38 AMAccording to a one-time high school classmate of Omar Mateen, the gunman responsible for the deadly attacks in Orlando this weekend once had several gay friends, and never seemed bothered by homosexuality.

According to The Daily Beast, Mateen — who stormed into Pulse gay night club in the early morning hours Sunday before killing 49 people — would, “regularly pick up lunch from a drag queen at Ruby Tuesday.” Samuel King, who is openly gay, recounted a seemingly different side of cold blooded killer from his high school years.

“He always had a smile on his face,” said King. “Maybe it’s because he was working in customer service.”

King took to his personal Facebook page on Sunday following the attacks to express his shock: “I can’t believe i knew this dude…. He worked at GNC at the treasure coast mall when i was at Ruby Tuesday’s and he Graduated from the same high school in 2004. He was a jokester and at the time didn’t have an issue with the LGBT community.” King said that Mateen may have even seen some drag shows himself.

According to King, the New York native Mateen never seemed to have an issue with homosexuality, further suggesting that the eventual killer knew very well that some of his peers were gay. “That’s the thing that’s pinning me to the wall the most, that it was a gay nightclub,” he said. “Because he would come into the [the restaurant] and laugh with us.”

This revelation about Mateen’s past is particularly surprising considering what his father, Seddique Mir Mateen, told NBC News Sunday afternoon. According to the father, his son became somewhat enraged several months ago when he saw two men kissing in Miami, perhaps indicating the sentiments that lead to the attack this weekend that left 53 injured in addition to the scores dead.

People who knew Mateen in recent years have painted a different picture than the one that his high school peer recounted from 2004. A coworker of Mateen’s at his security company, Daniel Gilroy, identified the 29-year-old as “unhinged and unstable,” furthering, “He talked of killing people.” On Sunday, Mateen’s ex-wife (of only four months) revealed the details of a highly abusive marriage. Sitora Yusufiy revealed that her family had to intervene and physically rescue her from the marriage in 2009. “The last she remembers of Mr. Mateen is that he grabbed her arm to stop her from getting into the car and leaving him forever,” according to the New York Times.

“I had let that chapter of my life go a long time ago,” Yusufiy said. “It’s somebody that hurt me and traumatized me.”

[h/t The Daily Beast]
[images via Twitter]

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