Three Orlando Shooting Survivors Speak Out About The Attack
Update: In a press conference Monday morning, Orlando police confirmed that 49 people had been killed and 53 injured early Sunday morning at Orlando's Pulse gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. After opening fire on the crowd, an individual named Omar Mateen had taken hostages and was ultimately killed in a stand-off with police; Mateen had called 911 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State shortly before the massacre. Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer declared a state of emergency, and the massacre is being investigated as an act of terrorism.
The victims' names were released by the city of Orlando on its website as their next of kin were informed.
Here are some ways to help the Orlando shooting victims and their loved ones: you can also donate to the victims' fund, as well as express your solidarity with the LGBTQ community by posting a tribute online. You can also attend a vigil near you to honor the victims.
Earlier: Survivors of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, have begun to share their universally harrowing experiences to the press and on social media.
Just after last call at Pulse nightclub in the early hours of June 12, Javier Antonetti, Janiel Gonzalez, and Luis Burbano were all wrapping up their evening when a gunman stormed the space and began shooting with an AR-15 assault rifle. "The music was playing, everyone was dancing ... and that's where you heard the 'bang, bang.' The one guy next to me fell and there was blood everywhere," Antonetti told ABC News.
Gonzalez, another eyewitness who was at the club when the shooting transpired, told ABC News: "It was complete mayhem. Everybody was just so, so nervous and we wanted to get out, people were getting trampled. We were just trying to push everybody out the door."
Both Antonetti and Gonzalez told ABC News of the horrific scene they witnessed when they made it out of the club. Antonetti said that there were "bodies everywhere" and he described how law enforcement tried to help those injured:
"In the parking lot they were tagging them red, yellow, so that they know who to help first and who not to help first. There was pants down, shirts cut off, they had to find bullets. There was just blood everywhere."
Speaking live on the phone with George Stephanopoulos, Gonzalez said that someone at the door was preventing people from leaving.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly reported on Twitter that Burbano took advantage of a lull in the shooting to run for an exit. "There was a break in the shots, about 10 seconds... and we had a moment where we looked at the exit... and we just booked."
Another unidentified eyewitness described a state of panic as people were trying to flee for their lives.
Antonetti and Gonzales both told ABC News that they dropped to the floor and tried to make their way for the exit amidst the chaos and loss of life. Antonetti told journalists, "I was crawling, I just kept crawling."
"There was just blood everywhere," he added.