Omar Mateen had visited Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, several times before his deadly shooting rampage that killed 49 people and injured another 53.
According to the Orlando Sentinel , at least four regular customers at the popular LGBT club recalled seeing the 29-year-old there before.
"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, adding that he had seen Mateen inside the club at least a dozen times.
"We didn't really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times," Smith said. "He told us he had a wife and child."
But that wasn’t Mateen’s only involvement in the LGBT community.
Another Pulse regular told The Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app.
Kevin West said he never met Mateen, but had a brief encounter with him Sunday before he watched as the gunman entered the club around 1 a.m. Shots would ring out just an hour later.
“He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’ and nodded his head,” West said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I could tell by the eyes.”
Mateen died three hours later in a shootout with the Orlando Police Department SWAT team, but not before taking dozens of lives. During his rampage, Mateen reportedly dialed 911 and referenced the Islamic State.
As more information comes about Mateen, it appears some were already wary of him.
In addition to the FBI’s 10-month investigation of Mateen beginning in 2013, which was eventually brought to a close, one of Mateen’s former co-workers has told his own story.
Daniel Gilroy, 44, told The Los Angeles Times he worked with Mateen for about a year as a security guard at PGA Village South in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
During that year, Gilroy complained “multiple times that he was dangerous, that he didn't like blacks, women, lesbians and Jews," he told The Times on Sunday.
One of his complaints came after Mateen allegedly threatened violence to African Americans in front of him, one time even voicing that he wished he could kill all black people – that statement was made with a racial slur, said Gilroy, who described Mateen as “unhinged and unstable.”
Eventually, Gilroy said, he quit his security job due to harassment by Mateen, who allegedly sent as many as 30 text messages a day as well as a dozen phone messages.
His employer G4S did not intervene, he said, adding, “I saw this coming.”