14 June 2016
After Sunday’s attack on a gay club called Pulse in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., the date, June 12 now means much to Americans as it means to Nigerians – though not for similar reasons.
For Nigerians, it marks a turning point in the country’s political history, for Americans however, it marks the day a horrific event which has been dubbed the largest single mass shooting in America’s history went down.
At about 2 a.m. on Sunday just as patrons of the popular gay club were about to call it a night, a lone gunman shot and killed 50 people, injuring 53 others.
The gunman who was identified as 29 years old, Omar Mateen is an American born Muslim whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan.
The shooting which lasted for hours ended after a second gun battle with Police officers led to Omar’s death.
Hours after news of the shooting broke, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. They described the attack as one carried out by “a lone fighter”.
Omar’s father, while speaking to reporters after the incident stated that the reason for his son’s actions might have been because he had recently witnessed a gay couple kissing in public, an act he claimed left him enraged.
Quite contrary to this, it has been revealed that the shooter might also have been gay as he was a regular at the club and also made use of gay dating apps.
A patron of the club, Jim Van Horn, speaking to The Telegraph, recalled the first time he met Omar at the bar.
He said they both got talking about his (Omar’s) ex-wife before his friends dragged him away from talking to him because they thought he was “a strange person.”
Van Horn remembered seeing Omar at the club on numerous occasions at alternate times over many weeks and he noticed he would try to pick up men or chat them up.
He said: “He used to come in the bar on the weekends, sometimes he would be there, sometimes he would miss a couple of weeks and then he would be in again.
“He was trying to pick up people, men, he was homosexual and he was trying to pick up men. He would walk up to them and then he would maybe put his arm around them or something and maybe even try to get them to dance or something or maybe buy them a drink or something”.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.