The gunman who killed at least 50 people at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday sent a Facebook friend request to the owner of another gay club last week, raising the possibility that he may have targeted other LGBT clubs in the area.
Micah Bass, the owner of the M Hotel and the Revere nightclub, told the East Orlando Post that Omar Mateen sent him the friend request late last week.
Bass told The New York Times that he recognized Mateen’s picture after he had been identified as the shooter at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday.
“I saw the picture and said ‘That guy tried to friend me,” Bass said.
Bass said he deleted Mateen’s friend request after noticing that his friends had Arabic writing on their Facebook pages. Bass said that because there are not many Arabic speakers in the gay subculture, he believed the friend request to have been a mistake.
Bass and his business partner had closed Revere Thursday, and planned to only make it available for private events.
“I feel terrible,” Bass told the Times. “I’m hoping that my staff didn’t end up at Pulse.”
“If we had not closed for restructuring … We we very well could have been the target this weekend,” Bass said. He added that he had notified the FBI about Mateen’s social media activity and was examining video footage to determine whether the gunman or any possible accomplices visited the property in recent weeks.
Earlier Sunday, Mateen’s father, Seddique, told NBC News that Omar Mateen had become upset after seeing two men kissing each other in Miami a couple of months ago.
“They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that,'” Seddique Mateen said. “And then we were in the men’s bathroom and men were kissing each other.”