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Woman Claims Orlando Nightclub Shooter Stalked Her Nearly a Decade Ago
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Woman Claims Orlando Nightclub Shooter Stalked Her Nearly a Decade Ago

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida woman says the gunman in the massacre at a gay Florida nightclub stalked her nearly a decade ago when he started coming into the bar where she worked.

Omar Mateen (MySpace via AP)

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 ran into him again at a park in November while she was with her young son and Mateen was with his, she said. He talked about his son's soccer league, but he still had a weird vibe about him, she said.

Early Sunday, the 29-year-old Mateen opened fire at the Pulse club in Orlando, leaving 49 victims dead and 53 wounded, according to police.

LaSalla said that when she saw his picture on television after the massacre, 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.

Meanwhile, St. Lucie County school records show that Mateen struggled academically in the elementary grades because of behavioral problems and an inability to concentrate, and talked about violence at a young age.

As early as third grade, teachers found Mateen difficult to deal with.

Mateen, one teacher wrote, was "very active ... constantly moving, verbally abusive, rude, aggressive much talk about violence & sex (obscenities) 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 "many instances 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 and become a main source of difficulty for him."

"Unfortunately, Omar has great difficulty focusing on his classwork since he often seeks the attention of his classmates through some sort of noise, disruption or distraction," the letter says.

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