Orlando mass killer Omar Mateen sent “very creepy” messages on one gay dating app and was active on at least two others, a Florida man said Monday.
The man identified by investigators as the gunman who killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse nightclub early Sunday had been known in Orlando’s gay community since as far back as 2007 and was a user on the apps Grindr, Jack’d and Adam4Adam, Cord Cedeno told MSNBC.
The White House announced that President Obama would travel to Orlando on Thursday “to pay his respects to victims’ families and to stand in solidarity with the community.”As of midday Monday, all but two of the 49 slain victims had been publicly identified after notification of their families. “Some of the living covered themselves with the dead.”She and other officials have asked residents to hold off on staging a vigil until all the victims are identified.“We will not be defined by the act of a cowardly hater,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
“We will be defined by how we respond.”Police responding to the nightclub attack had attempted to negotiate with Mateen for hours, Police Chief John Mina said, rescuing dozens of people and confronting the shooter only when he mentioned explosives and they believed “further loss of life was imminent.”Mina outlined the police response during a Monday briefing near the nightclub, flanked by Florida Gov.
We hope that our fellow Americans will not let fear become disabling,” Comey said.
He added that fear “is what these savages want.”FBI agents scrambled Monday to recover data from Mateen’s electronic media — cellphones, computers and other devices — hoping to find clues to what sparked the massacre at the nightclub, according to current and former FBI officials.
“He was, like, very creepy in his messages and I blocked him immediately,” Cedeno said.
He saw Mateen at the club at least a dozen times, he said."We didn't really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times," Smith said.A team of negotiators arrived and began communicating with Mateen, who sounded “cool and calm,” Mina said.Mina said negotiators didn’t have much leverage with the gunman.“He really wasn’t asking for anything,” the police chief said.“Violence occurs against the LGBT community every day in every corner of the world.A significant amount of Grindr users live overseas, some in countries where being gay is still illegal.Grindr officials have said they are cooperating with investigators and declined to comment.