As media and federal investigators struggle to fully understand the man who massacred 49 predominantly queer and Latinx folks at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, one man who alleges a sexual relationship with Omar Mateen said that the shooter murdered in revenge against gay Latino men.
"I’ve cried like you have no idea," the man said in an exclusive interview with Univision published Tuesday (June 21). "But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism. In my opinion, he did it for revenge."
The man, who is identified as "Miguel" and wears a disguise, told Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas that he met Mateen through the dating app Grindr and that they engaged in a two-month-long "friends with benefits" relationship. He described Mateen as a "very sweet guy" and said that Mateen felt rejected and spurned by Latino men:
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. I believe this crazy, horrible thing he did—that was revenge.
Miguel also said that Mateen believed he may have contracted HIV after group sex with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom later disclosed having HIV.
When asked about Mateen’s professed allegiance to ISIS, Miguel said that Mateen saw Islam as an accepting and loving religion in contrast to his father’s more rigid beliefs.
Univision could not verify Miguel’s whole story, but reported that the FBI confirmed having met with him. Miguel told Univsion that the FBI interviewed him three times.
Watch Univision’s video, or read the English– and Spanish-language interview transcripts.