The gunman who killed 49 people in an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando is said to have been a regular at the venue and had messaged several people on gay dating apps.

Four regular customers said they had seen Omar Mateen drinking at the nightclub on multiple occasions. “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 told the Orlando Sentinel

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“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.”

Mateen was radicalised online, Barack Obama and the head of the FBI have said, and called emergency services during his attack on the nightclub to claim he was acting on behalf of Islamic State. “There is no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” the US president said.

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