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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > Summer 2016 > How the tragedy unfolded

How the tragedy unfolded

In the early hours on Sunday 12 June, one of the worst mass shootings in modern US history was committed, at gay nightclub Pulse. A total of 49 people have been confirmed dead at time of writing, with 53 injured, in a targeted attack on the LGBT+ community. Described as ‘violent’ and ‘disturbed,’ the attacker has been named by police as Omar Mateen – and in just three hours, he cut short the lives of lovers, dancers, caregivers, fathers and mothers...

WHO WAS OMAR MATEEN? Died aged 29. • Born in New York, a US citizen of Afghan descent. • Worked as a security guard for G4S in Florida from September 2007. • Prayed at his local mosque four times a week. • He became a person of interest to the FBI in 2013 and 2014 after he made “inflammatory comments” to co-workers, alleging possible “terrorist ties”. • Mateen’s ex-wife Sitora Yusifiy said he was “mentally unstable and mentally ill”. • During a phone call to 911 when he pledged allegiance to ISIS, he also mentioned Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. • His father said Omar became angry when he saw two men kissing in Miami. • According to witnesses, he was a regular at the gay club Pulse – some claimed he’d been going there for at least three years. • Kevin West, a regular at Pulse, said he’d spoken to Omar on a gay dating app on and off for a year. • Omar allegedly scouted out other locations for attacks including Disney Springs and Disney World. • His father posted a video on Facebook following attack saying: “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality.”

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About Gay Times

This month, GT reflects on the tragic events that occurred at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on 12th June. We pay tribute to those we lost that night and we have reactions from leading figures in the political and LGBTQ* worlds including: David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn, Sadiq Khan, Peter Tatchell, Asifa Lahore, Michael Cashman and Mas Naina. Also in this issue: All Saints. Courtney Act. Orange Is The New Black's Kate Mulgrew and Selenis Leyva. Hawaii fashion shoot. Simon Callow. Bright Light Bright Light. Right Said Fred. Matt Hunt. Alexi Kaye Campbell. Travel: Taiwan and our guide to the best road trips. Don't forget all the regular features: Fitness with Charlie King with Chris Jones. Date night dining with Edd Kimber and the Gastro Gays. The Guyliner. Ask Aled. Benjamin Cohen. Modern Family. PJ Brennan. Sex with Josh Sabarra. Property tips. Plus much more...