Man Who Claims to Be Omar Mateen's Lover Says Orlando Shooting Was 'Revenge'
A man who says he was a lover of Omar Mateen, the gunman who fatally shot 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando just over a week ago, sat down for an interview with Univision last night. His facial features obscured by a disguise, his voice digitally altered, and going by the name “Miguel,” he told Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas that he and Mateen had been involved in a sexual relationship for two months. In interviews conducted in both Spanish and English, Miguel stated that he believed Mateen specifically targeted Pulse nightclub as an act of revenge against LGBT Puerto Rican men, by whom he felt rejected and abused.
Miguel, who described his relationship with Mateen as “friends with benefits,” said the two met 15 to 20 times after originally connecting on Grindr. He claimed Mateen told him that his wife "knew he was gay... and she accepted it.” Miguel also stated that Mateen’s father likely played a large role in his son’s decision to enter a heterosexual marriage despite being “100 percent” gay.
"For him, being married was because his father forced him to marry," Miguel said. When asked if Mateen’s father knew his son was gay, Miguel said he believed he did, but that "he could not accept” the idea.
When asked about Mateen’s decision to murder 49 people at Pulse nightclub, Miguel suggested the mass shooting had been a tragic and horribly misguided act of revenge. He said Mateen had engaged in a threesome with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom later told him he was HIV-positive.
“He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin, but he felt rejected,” Miguel said. “He felt used by them—there were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him.”
Miguel says that in response to the news, Mateen—who he claims exhibited no previous signs of violence—told him he was “going to make them pay for what they did.”
"He hated gay Puerto Ricans for all the bad things they do to him," Miguel said. "I know a lot of people are going to feel a lot of pain for what I'm going to say. But I believe this crazy horrible thing he did was for revenge."
Miguel said he reached out to the FBI when he learned the shooter’s identity. The network said it had confirmed with the FBI that the agency had indeed spoken with Miguel.
Several Pulse patrons, former friends of Mateen's and his ex-wife have suggested Mateen was gay but closeted in most aspects of his life. A handful of men have told news outlets that Mateen contacted them via apps such as Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam.
While multiple news agencies and some politicians have classified Mateen as a sleeper agent of a radical Islamic group, he reportedly pledged allegiance to multiple conflicting groups. Miguel said that during discussions about religion, Mateen said the "Muslim religion is [a] beautiful, spiritual religion, where everything is about love.”
"Everybody is welcome,” Miguel says. “Gay, trans, bisexual. Everybody."