A man claiming to be the gay lover of Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen has come forward to tell his story. He also shared his theory that Mateen may have committed the shooting because he was furious about having had sex with an HIV-positive man.
The Hispanic man, who has been identified only as Miguel, spoke to Spanish-language news station Univision about the shooter's possible motives, the Daily Mail reported. During the interview, Miguel said he had been in a romantic relationship with Mateen for two months between October and December 2015. The pair reportedly met each other up to 20 times at the Ambassador Hotel in Orlando.
A hotel representative confirmed that the shooter had been a frequent guest at the establishment and had stayed there 63 times in 2015.
Miguel, who said that he had his first date with Mateen at an Orlando bar called Parliament, described the 29-year-old shooter as a confused gay man and heavy drinker who felt attracted to Puerto Rican men, but also rejected by them.
"…[Mateen] liked Latinos and was attracted to dark skin," the man said in his interview, according to the Daily Mail. "But sadly, from what he told me, he felt used. He felt anger, a lot of anger towards Puerto Ricans."
Miguel said he believed Mateen's shooting rampage at the Pulse nightclub was an act of revenge after discovering that one of the two gay Puerto Rican men that he'd had a threesome with was HIV-positive. Although Mateen reportedly tested negative for HIV following the incident, he was still angry and wanted to "make them pay."
"The thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn't do it for terrorism," Miguel told Univision interviewer Maria Elena Salinas, according to the Daily Mail. "In my opinion, he did it for revenge."
Miguel, who wore a prosthetic mask to disguise his identity during the interview, said that he and Mateen often had oral sex during their trysts at the Ambassador Hotel, and that the man "loved to be cuddled…he loved to be embraced," according to the Daily Mail.
He also claimed that Mateen spoke about his religion during their relationship, describing Islam as a "beautiful religion in which everyone is welcome – gays, trans, bisexuals, heteros, everyone."
At one point, Miguel tried to take photos of himself and Mateen together on his phone, but Mateen stopped him. After an argument, the shooter explained that he was married with a child, but that his wife knew about his gay affairs.
Miguel has shared his entire story with FBI investigators, who are now questioning him to find out more details. Investigators have also collected CCTV security footage from the hotel where Miguel said he met Mateen for trysts.
The American-born Mateen gunned down 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12, according to CNN. The massacre, which has been described as the deadliest mass shooting on U.S. territory to date, was widely believed to be an act of terrorism because Mateen had reportedly declared allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS during the attack.