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Omar Mateen's Father I Blame Pulse Nightclub For Not Stopping My Son

6/14/2016 3:27 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

Omar Mateen's father is now saying Pulse nightclub should share the blame for his son's massacre of 49 innocent people.

Seddique Mateen made that unbelievable statement after inviting reporters to his home in Port St. Lucie, FL. He believes the club was woefully unprepared for the number of patrons it had that night.

His gall is breathtaking, but watch ... he actually tries to justify his comment during the interview with Orlando's FOX35.

A spokesman for Pulse tells TMZ, "We simply can't find the words to respond to such a callous comment from the father of the man who perpetrated this heinous act."

Mateen was also asked about his daughter-in-law's whereabouts -- in light of the news she helped Omar purchase ammo for the murders. 

Pulse Nightclub Final Night of Partying

6/14/2016 11:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The last moments before Omar Mateen burst into Pulse nightclub were filled with dancing, boozing and a celebrity performance ... as seen in this video TMZ obtained.

This was the scene inside Pulse early Sunday morning, less than 2 hours before the shooting started. As we've reported ... it was Latin night, and in this video it's clear how packed it was. Clubgoers were taking in a dance contest, cheering, and the MC poured booze freely.

"RuPaul's Drag Race" season 4 contestant Kenya Michaels was there too ... performing onstage.

Kenya escaped the club safely, but sadly pointed out her "best friends" were in the front row cheering for her. She says ... "Now all of them are gone."

Gay Pride-Bound Gunman Charged With Multiple Felonies D.A. Says He's A 'Danger To Community'

6/14/2016 11:57 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details


2:00 PM PST -- Howell just pled not guilty and the judge set bail at $2 million. His attorney argued the chemicals found in his car are often used by gun enthusiasts during target practice but the D.A. says they were similar to those used in the Oklahoma City bombing. He's scheduled to be back in court later this month. 

12:35 PM PST -- The D.A. just released more details about what was inside Howell's car. Cops found a black hood, taser, handcuffs a buck knife, security badge and a 5-gallon container of gasoline. The combo of dangerous materials is why the D.A. has asked for an increase in bail.


The man arrested with multiple weapons in his car who planned to hit up L.A.'s gay pride festival was just charged with several felonies.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney charged James Howell Tuesday with possession of an assault weapon, possession of explosives on a public highway and for possessing a high capacity ammo magazine. He was also charged with a misdemeanor for having a loaded firearm in the vehicle. 

The D.A. is asking Howell's bail be set at $2 million as they say he's a danger to the community.

TMZ broke the story, Howell was arrested Sunday in Santa Monica after cops discovered him with 3 assault rifles, ammo and a 5 gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device ... just hours after the massacre in Orlando. 

Gay Pride-Bound Gunman Soon-to-Be Wanted Man In Indiana ...

6/14/2016 8:57 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0612-james-howell-FACEBOOK-02The man found with a mini arsenal in his car headed to the L.A. Pride Parade will soon be a wanted man in his home state of Indiana. 

James Wesley Howell is currently on probation after copping a plea to pointing a gun at a neighbor last year. Clark County, Indiana Prosecutor Jeremy Mull tells TMZ his office filed paperwork Monday to revoke Howell's probation due to the L.A. arrest.

Mull says he expects a judge to sign an arrest warrant Tuesday -- and once he's released from custody ... he'll be sent back to Indiana in cuffs. 

Howell is set to be arraigned on weapons charges today.  

Omar Mateen Strong Signs He Was Gay ... According to Ex-Wife

6/14/2016 6:53 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

0614-omar-mateen-sitora-yusufiy-myspace-getty-01Omar Mateen's ex-wife is dancing around the subject, but her fiance says it flat out -- all the signs pointed to Mateen being gay ... or at least struggling with the fact he was gay.

Amid reports the Orlando mass murderer had been to Pulse nightclub multiple times ... Sitora Yusufiy and her current fiance, Marco Dias, were asked by a Brazilian reporter if Mateen was gay. Dias said Sitora believed Omar had "homosexual tendencies."

Dias also said Sitora told him she witnessed Mateen's father calling him gay several times.

Dias claims the FBI told Sitora to keep mum about Mateen's homosexuality in interviews with "American media" -- which might explain her Monday night appearance on CNN. Sitora said when she and Mateen married in 2009 he "confessed to me about his past ... and he very much enjoyed going to clubs."

She also says there were "pictures of him" -- but paused dramatically when asked if he was gay. Check it out ...

Lady Gaga Orlando Shooting 'An Attack On Everyone'

6/14/2016 7:54 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Lady Gaga wept as she read an emotional speech for the LGBT community and victims of the Orlando mass shooting Monday outside L.A.'s City Hall.

Gaga, an outspoken crusader for LGBT rights, called the massacre at Pulse, a predominantly gay club in Orlando, an "attack on everyone." Like Anderson Cooper, she also had trouble getting through the list of victim's names.

It's a moving speech with Gaga pointing out the LGBT community has more lovers than haters around the world. Grab a tissue first. 


Gay Pride-Bound Gunman Cops Say Mystery 'Friend' Not an Accomplice

6/13/2016 12:32 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF


The "friend" James Howell -- who was arrested with an arsenal before L.A. Pride -- had driven cross-country to meet ... was just a guy he met online, and not an accomplice to a potential crime ... according to law enforcement.

We're told Howell originally told police he was meeting a friend and going to the parade -- leading cops to believe that person could be a threat to the public.

Law enforcement sources say they found the friend and he backs up Howell's story, but is adamant he was clueless Howell's trunk contained 3 assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and a 5 gallon bucket of chemicals cops suspect could have been used as a bomb.

We're told the friend told police he met the Indiana man online recently, and planned to meet in person to attend Pride together ... and that's all.

Cops believed the alibi ... and cleared him of any involvement.

However ... it's still a mystery as to what exactly, if anything, Howell had planned. We're told he's not budging during questioning. He remains in custody on $500,000 bail.

TMZ broke the story ... Howell -- who has a criminal history with firearms -- was busted with a cache of weapons on his way to the L.A. Pride parade.

UFC's Daniel Cormier The LGBT Community Is Strong ... 'We'll Get Through This Together'

6/13/2016 10:52 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

UFC superstar Daniel Cormier has a strong message for the LGBT community -- you are not alone. 

Cormier was out in NYC promoting his fight with Jon Jones at UFC 200 -- when he opened up about the terror attack in Orlando. 

"We gotta take care of each other," Cormier said ... "We have to be there to support each other in these situations as Americans, as human beings, as people."

"The entire world is behind you and we'll get through this together."

Gay Pride-Bound Gunman Criminal History with Guns

6/12/2016 2:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0612-james-howell-mug-shot-TMZ-03James Howell -- the 20-year-old Indiana man who was arrested with an arsenal in his car hours before his planned arrival at the West Hollywood Pride parade was arrested less than a year ago for pointing a gun in a threatening manner ... TMZ has learned.

Howell got in an argument with his Indiana neighbor last October when he pulled a gun in anger. He was arrested and charged with pointing a firearm at another, as well as intimidation.

Howell copped a plea -- the firearm charge was dropped, and he pled to intimidation. Howell is currently on one year probation for that crime.

TMZ broke the story ... Howell was arrested in Santa Monica early Sunday morning after a homeowner reported a prowler. Police found an arsenal in his car, including three assault rifles, high capacity magazines, ammunition, and a 5 gallon bucket with chemicals to make a bomb. He told police he had traveled to California to attend the Pride parade.

TMZ also found this video posted by Howell, who clearly seems to have a fondness for firearms.

Pride Parade Parade-Goer with Assault Rifles Arrested

6/12/2016 10:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF


update_graphic_red_bar2:40 PM PT -- Cops have identified the suspect -- 20 year old James Howell from Indiana.  Police say they found, "three assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and ammunition."  Also, they found a 5 gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device.

Cops also say as of now, there is no connection between James Howell and the shootings in Orlando.update_grey_gray_barA man with assault rifles was arrested early Sunday after telling cops his destination was the Pride parade later today in West Hollywood ... law enforcement sources tell TMZ.

Our sources say Santa Monica PD responded to a prowler call and found the man nearby the house that was allegedly targeted.

We're told he informed cops he was on his way to meet a friend for the Pride parade 10 miles away in WeHo. At a point cops searched his car and our sources say they found multiple assault rifles with a number of loaded magazines that were stacked and taped together --  a marker for someone looking to fire multiple rounds in rapid succession. Cops reportedly also found explosives and camouflage gear.

We're told the man has been arrested.

Santa Monica PD will not comment.

We're told the FBI is now involved. We do not know if cops have a lead on the identity of the "friend" of the man arrested.

The Abbey Ready to Party During Pride Weekend!

6/12/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF


The Abbey's ready to burst with boys and vodka when hundreds of thousands descend on West Hollywood this weekend for L.A. Pride.

The Abbey has stocked the place with more than 1,000 liters of vodka, 3,500 cans of Red Bull and 7,500 bottles of beer. And there's plenty of eye candy for the boys AND girls -- 100 go-go dancers.

The Abbey -- once reportedly the largest purchaser of vodka in the world -- is expecting between 30-50k booze-guzzling customers.

Someone's gonna get a big tip!!!

Amber Heard 'Homophobic' 'Misogynistic' Cop ... a Gay Woman

6/9/2016 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0608-beverly-leonard-facebook-05Amber Heard's ex-girlfriend, who just claimed Amber's 2009 arrest for domestic violence was bogus because the cop was a homophobe with a hint of misogyny ... couldn't be further off the mark, because the officer is an openly gay woman who also contributed money to a domestic violence organization.

Amber's ex-domestic partner, Tasya van Ree, minimized their altercation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, saying it was "misinterpreted and over-sensationalized by two individuals in a powerful position." She's referring to the cops who arrested Amber for allegedly grabbing and hitting Tasya.

Officer Beverly Leonard was the actual arresting officer. She proudly posted pics of herself and her partner a few years back. She's also posted pics of herself at Pride weekend.

Leonard also supported an organization in Seattle that helps women who were victims of domestic violence.

A source close to Beverly says the now-retired officer is indignant ... saying the arrest had nothing to do with homophobia ... she was arrested for breaking the law.

Although Tasya claims the incident was minor, police documents show there was actual property damage ... Tasya's pendant was broken during the scuffle, and the documents also show Tasya was extremely upset with Amber for the alleged attack ... so claim the responding cops.


Rosie O'Donnell I Choked When I Met Caitlyn Jenner ... Total Trump Move!

5/27/2016 8:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Rosie O'Donnell's first time meeting Caitlyn Jenner was a classic -- as in, a classic screw up.

Rosie did a little stand-up in NYC Thursday night during a show with Cyndi Lauper and Boy George -- and recalled meeting Caitlyn at Kanye West's MSG show. Honest mistake on her part? Check out the video.

Bonus points to Rosie for turning her personal faux pas into a Donald Trump dig -- y'know he'd do the same to her in a heartbeat.

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