Saturday, June 10, 2017

First Responders to Pulse Searching For Healing

Pulse survivors share memories, messages
Rick Jervis
June 09, 2017
“I don’t care how rich or important you are, when you have a problem, you’re going to dial those three little numbers. But when we need the help, who do we call?” Omar Delgado
More than anything else, Omar Delgado remembers the phones. Dozens of them, he said, ringing incessantly and spinning in pools of their owners’ blood, the only sound in an otherwise quiet nightclub.

Delgado, 45, an Eatonville Police officer, was one of the first responders to the June 12, 2016, Pulse nightclub shooting. As he entered the club through a patio door that night, he saw bleeding and bullet-torn bodies strewn across the dance floor, many of them slumped on top of one another, their phones ringing next to them.

“I knew it was a loved one trying to reach that person and they were never ever going to pick up that phone again,” Delgado said in an interview with USA TODAY. “It was horrific.”

A year ago Monday, gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside Pulse, a popular LGBT club in Orlando, with a semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm Glock pistol, killing 49 patrons and injuring 53 others in one of the deadliest shooting sprees in U.S. history. Mateen was shot and killed by police after a three-hour standoff.
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