Survivor recounts Orlando nightclub shooting
The attack on the Pulse nightclub in the central Florida city of Orlando was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and the worst attack on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Angel Colon, who was in Pulse with friends at the time of Omar Mateen’s attack, described at a press conference on Tuesday (June 14) hearing gunfire and falling to the floor, shot in the left leg.
“I couldn’t walk at all,” Colon told a news conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he is one of 27 survivors being treated. “All I could do was lay down. People were running over me.”
Colon said he had a hopeful moment when Mateen went into a bathroom – where he later took hostages – but the gunman then emerged, systematically making his way through the club shooting people who were already down, apparently to ensure they were dead.
U.S. investigators on Tuesday were digging into what motivated a Florida man to slaughter 49 people at a gay nightclub, including evidence that he had become absorbed in militant Islamist ideas and reports he might have been gay himself, but not openly so.
Mateen, who was shot dead by police after a three-hour standoff early on Sunday, left behind a tangled trail of possible motives. He also called police during his rampage to voice allegiance to various militant Islamist groups.
Federal investigators have said Mateen was likely self-radicalized and there is no evidence that he received any instruction or aid from outside groups such as Islamic State. Mateen, 29, was a U.S. citizen, born in New York of Afghan immigrant parents.