Orlando gunman raised suspicions at gun shops

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had visited several gun shops before he killed 49 people in Pulse nightclub, raising suspicions at one where staff refused to sell him ammunition.

Mateen, 29, visited a gun shop in the town near his home around five or six weeks ago asking for heavy-duty body armor and bulk ammunition.

He had a phone conversation in which he appeared to be talking in a Middle Eastern language, according to Robbie Abell, co-owner of Lotus Gunworks of South Florida.

Mateen "just seemed very odd," Mr. Abell told the Wall Street Journal. “The questions he was asking [about body armor] were not the normal questions a normal person would be asking."

Lotus Gunworks doesn’t sell armor, and staff declined to sell Mateen bulk ammunition, turning him away.

"If something is suspicious, it’s our discretion," Mr. Abell said. "We are the gatekeeper."

Around a week before the shooting, Mateen also visited St Lucie Shooting Center twice and bought a pistol and a long gun, according to owner Ed Henson.

The new details have emerged as part of an FBI investigation into Mateen's actions in the days, weeks, and months prior to the shooting.