Orlando shooting survivors recall terrifying moments inside Pulse nightclub

- Survivors of the Orlando nightclub shooting are speaking out Tuesday.

Angel Colon is being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

He spoke at the news conference saying at first he was hesitant because the shooting is so fresh in his mind, but he wanted to tell his story “so everyone can know what’s going on now in this community and how some people are just so heartless in how we’re treated.”

Colon described the night before the shooting saying it was a great night. “No drama, just smiles,” he said. As he was saying his goodbyes they heard a “big shotgun.”

He said they stopped what they were doing, and the gunfire continued. 

“We started running and unfortunately I was shot about three times in my leg. So I had fallen down. I tried to get back up, but everyone started running everywhere, I got trampled over. I shattered and broke my bones on my left leg. So by this time I couldn’t walk at all. All I could do was just lay down there, while everyone was just running on top of me trying to get to where they needed to be. And all I could hear was a shotgun – one after another. And people screaming, yelling for help,” said Colon.

The man went into another room as he heard more gunshots. At this point he started to feel safe, but then he heard the man come back.

“I was able to peek over and I just see him shooting at everyone. And I can hear the shotgun closer and he shoots the girl next to me. And I’m thinking I’m next, I’m dead. I don’t know how but by the glory of God he shoots and hits my hand, then the side of my hip.”

After that, the suspect went to the front of the club and Colon thought that’s when the suspect began “battling with cops.”

An officer checked on Colon to make sure he was alive. The officer began to drag Colon across the floor to safety. “The cop starts to drag him out. I’m grateful for him but the floor is covered in glass, and I’m just getting cut. I don’t feel pain, but I feel all this blood on me from myself, from other people.”

Colon was put into an ambulance and taken to the hospital where he says he’s received excellent care.

He thanked the hospital saying “I will love you guys forever for doing that for me.”

He added a comment about the shooter saying, "this person had to be heartless, ruthless. I don't know how you could do something like this." He said he heard from others that the shooter was calm and laughing in other rooms. 

Patience Carter also survived the shooting. She told her story from a hospital bed. She was at Pulse with two of her friends. She said, "We were having the time of our lives. We were just having the night we dreamed of. It was the most beautiful bonding experience three girls could have on their vacation."

At 1:58 a.m. her friends began to order an Uber, which is when they heard the sound of gunfire. Carter and one of her friends made it outside, but they realized their other friend was still inside so they went back in for her. She said, “We went from having the time of our lives to the worst night of our lives within a matter of minutes.”

Carter ended up as a hostage in the bathroom with her two friends. She was shot multiple times. 

The gunman was calling 911 as victims lay on the floor. Carter says he was saying the reason behind the shooting was because he wanted America to stop bombing his country. He also pledged allegiance to Isis. 

Cater says she was shielded by someone who saved her life, but didn't survive the shooting. 

Water pipes broke as officers broke through the bathroom wall. Water started to rise as Carter was on the floor. She said she feared she would drown because she couldn't get up. 

An officer was able to get Carter out of the bathroom, but she later learned one of her friends didn't make it. 

She says she has survivor's guilt because although the friend they went to rescue survived, her other friend was killed. 

Before she shared her story Tuesday, she read a poem she had written in the middle of the night the night before her press conference.

"The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy. Wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready, as the world mourns the victims killed and viciously slain,

I feel guilty about screaming about my legs and pain...

Because I could feel nothing

Like the other 49, who weren’t so lucky to feel this pain of mine. I never thought in a million years that this could happen.

I never thought in a million years that my eyes could witness something so tragic.

Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals.

Looking at the killer's machine gun throughout my right peripheral.

Looking at the blood and debris covered on everyone's faces.

Looking at the gunman's feet under the stall as he paces.

The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy, it's like the weight of the oceans walls crushing uncontrolled by levies. It's like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown in the back of a Chevy.

Being rushed to the hospital and told you're going to make it, when you laid beside individuals whose lives were brutally taken.

The guilt of being alive is heavy."

 

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