Woman says Orlando club shooter stalked her
ORLANDO - A bartender says the gunman in the massacre at a gay nightclub stalked her nearly a decade ago when he started coming into her Florida bar.
Heather LaSalla of Fort Pierce, Florida, told The Associated Press that Omar Mateen sent her so many uncomfortable messages on Facebook that she blocked him.
She says she ran into him again at a park in November while she was with her young son and Mateen was with his. She says he talked about his son's soccer league, but he still had a weird vibe about him.
Police say that early Sunday, the 29-year-old Mateen opened fire at the Pulse club in Orlando, leaving 49 victims dead and 53 wounded.
LaSalla says when she saw his picture on television, she knew right away it was him.
She was a bartender in Port St. Lucie at the time and says she never filed a criminal complaint over his behavior.
School records show Mateen struggled academically in the elementary grades because of behavioral problems and an inability to concentrate, and talked about violence at an early age.
According to the St. Lucie County school records, teachers found dealing with Mateen difficult as early as third grade.
One teacher wrote that he's "very active ... constantly moving, verbally abusive, rude, aggressive."
The teacher noted he talked about violence and sex and had his hands "all over the place - on other children, in his mouth."
The same teacher wrote that Mateen and another student sang the words "marijuana, marijuana" rather than the school's song, "mariposa, mariposa."
In seventh grade, school administrators moved Mateen to another class to "avoid conflicts with other students." That same report said Mateen was doing poorly in several subjects because of behavioral problems.
In a 1999 letter to Mateen's father, one of his middle school teachers wrote that the boy's "attitude and inability to show self-control in the classroom create distractions."