It was a rough week in Orlando, FL, home of the Magic Kingdom, quickly dubbed The Tragic Kingdom. The second of a trio of tragedies occurred early Sunday morning, June 12, as people partied at Pulse Night Club.
Pulse is a popular gay night club in Orlando. On June 12, the club hosted a “Latin flavor” event with 320 people talking, dancing and socializing late into the night. Two minutes before 2 a.m., everything changed.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Omar Marteen was a man described by others as “always agitated. Always mad.” He purchased a Glock 17 semi-automatic handgun and a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic assault rifle. Pledging allegiance to ISIS, he entered Pulse with murder in his heart.
Just before 2 a.m., Marteen walked to the middle of the club and began firing. At first, the people at a distance and on the patio outside thought it was part of the music. But they quickly realized something was wrong.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
The DJ on the patio turned down the tunes to determine what he was hearing. People began running outside. Fear, bullets and blood filled the air as the shooter repeatedly shot the same people as the fled or fell. One woman hid under the DJ table.
Angel Colon took three bullets to the leg and collapsed. He was then trampled by the fleeing crowd. His good leg snapped. Then the shooter saw Angel on the floor and began firing. He aimed for Angel’s head but hit his hand. Then he shot him in the hip.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Angel lay still, wracked with pain and terror. A voice prompted him to lift his head. Omar Delgado, a police officer with the Eatonville Police Department, called out, “Who’s alive?” Angel looked up and locked eyes with his savior. “Help me!”
“I can’t carry you,” Officer Delgado said, knowing the shooter was still in the building. “The quickest way out is for me to drag you.” Colon swallowed the pain from both legs as he took the bulky nine-year veteran’s hand and was dragged over broken glass to safety.
Angel Colon and all but 11 of the others injured were evacuated to Orlando Regional Medical Center. It was three blocks from the club. The ER looked more like a battlefield than an emergency room with bloody victims everywhere. 44 in all. Nine died shortly after arrival.
Surgeons at ORMC went from one operating room to the other throughout the morning. They performed an astounding 28 operations on Sunday, followed by eight on Monday and another eight on Tuesday. They saved a lot of lives.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Angel was one of the lives they saved. Laying in his hospital bed, Angel Colon reflected on the fateful night. He would not have made it out of that building had it not been for an unnamed officer. He wished he could meet his savior, to thank him, to hug him.
Marteen fired a total of 202 rounds during the attack and subsequent standoff. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured. It was the worst mass shooting in American history. Marteen was brought down by police gunfire.[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next Page” ]
Days later, Officer Delgado visited Colon in the hospital and Colon was all smiles. “My name is Officer Omar Delgado. I’m one of the ones that helped you get out of harm’s way,” Delgado said. “I need a big hug from you, Man. I’m so glad you are alive,” Delgado said as the two embraced.