Pulse Gunman Was At Eve Orlando Nightclub Before Shooting, Defense Says

Attorneys for the widow of the Orlando Pulse nightclub gunman who killed 49 people are hoping to keep prosecutors from telling jurors that Omar Mateen was targeting the LGBTQ community.  

In a motion filed Monday, the defense is using cellphone records placing Mateen at Disney Springs, near Epcot, and at the downtown EVE Orlando club in the hours prior to his arrival at Pulse to prove that he was not specifically planning to attack a gay nightclub. 

Salman's defense team filed the motion to show Mateen was not targeting Pulse because it was a gay nightclub, because the Eve nightclub is not dedicated to an LGBTQ audience. Eve Orlando and Pulse are less than two miles apart from each other.

Forensic data from Mateen's cellphone, security footage and Google Maps data shows that he left home at 5 p.m. and arrived in southern Orlando around 7:30 p.m.

Mateen's cellphone pinged near towers at Disney Springs at 10:27 p.m. Mateen then used his phone and Googled "downtown Orlando nightclubs" at 12:22 a.m., which pulled up Pulse and Eve Orlando, both on South Orange Avenue.

After getting on Interstate 4, Mateen was in the vicinity of Eve Orlando at 110 South Orange Ave. at 12:55 a.m., but began driving toward the SODO area just after 1 a.m.

At 1:33 a.m., GPS evidence shows Mateen was near Pulse nightclub. He then left and started back toward Eve Orlando, but turned around and was at Pulse where he opened fire just after 2 a.m.

Salman is accused of going on alleged scouting trips with Mateen to Pulse and Disney Springs days ahead of the mass shooting, but her lawyers say her phone's GPS never registered at either location.

They claim that shows that Noor Salman, charged with aiding and abetting her husband, did not know what he was planning.  

Jury selection for Salman's trial continues Tuesday in federal court in Orlando.

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