Survivors of Orlando massacre speak out for the first time

- On Tuesday, the public began to hear emotional stories from survivors of the Orlando massacre.

Doctors described the scene as a war zone.

“The gunman entered the bathroom and was shooting his machine gun, so we're all like scrambling around in the bathroom, screaming at the top of our lungs, when he was in there for the first time,” said Patience Carter.

Carter, a 20-year-old NYU student on a Florida vacation, provided dramatic new details of what went on for three hours while she and other victims were trapped in a washroom with Omar Mateen. The killer's initial outburst sent a bullet through one of her legs and into her other. She laid bleeding with her friend, Akyra Parker, who did not survive.

“I looked across and I could see my best friend on the floor, Akyra, looking lifeless, and that at point, I'm like, I really don't think I'm going to get out of here,” Carter said.

Carter's shocking new account was one of several offered Tuesday by victims who are still hospitalized. She says she listened as Mateen, on a cellphone, explained his motive.

“The reason why he's doing this is he wants America to stop bombing his country. And from that conversation from 911, he pledges allegiance to ISIS,” she said.

Angel Colon, 26, was shot three times in the leg, and then in the hand and hip.

"He's shooting everyone that's already dead on the floor, making sure they're dead. I look over, and he shoots the girl next to me. And I'm just there laying down and I'm thinking, I'm next, I'm dead,” Colon said.

Doctors at Orlando regional medical center said their E.R. quickly resembled a war zone. Trauma Surgeon Chadwick Smith started calling in help.

“I said, please come, please come. We need your help. This is not a drill. This is not a joke. Twenty plus gunshot wounds, all come in,” said Dr. Smith.

“First we got five, then they started bringing them in, in truckloads, and ambulance loads,” said Dr. Kathryn Bondani.

Forty four victims arrived at the ER Sunday morning. Nine were pronounced dead on arrival, and 27 are still hospitalized with six of them in critical condition.

“It was singularly the worst day of my career and the best day of my career. And I think you can say that of pretty much every person standing up here,” Dr. Smith added.

 App Store Get it on Google Play

  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - includes Advertiser Stories