Orlando shooting: 'He has us, and he's in here with us'

Angel Mendez, standing outside the Orlando Regional Medical Centre, holds up a photo trying to get information about his brother Jean Mendez who was at the Pulse Nightclub. Photo / AP
Angel Mendez, standing outside the Orlando Regional Medical Centre, holds up a photo trying to get information about his brother Jean Mendez who was at the Pulse Nightclub. Photo / AP

Luis Burbano

He was signing his cheque and preparing to leave when he and those around him realised they were in danger. "We thought it was part of the music. It went 'pop, pop, pop, pop'. But for some reason it was different. I don't think anyone realised until the fifth or sixth shot and then it was just a domino effect as everybody hit the floor," he told CNN.

Brand White

Orlando resident White was shot in the shoulder. He says, "We are dancing and all of a sudden it just started like a rolling thunder, loud and everything went black." The 30-year-old was with his cousin, who mentioned something about "a guy with a bomb". After that, White says, his memory is fuzzy; he said he doesn't recall leaving the club or who took him to the hospital.

Brett Rigas

Rigas says he and his partner were dancing when they heard shots. Rigas was shot in the arm and hid behind a bar. About five minutes later, authorities came in and told everyone to put their hands up and run out. Rigas said he saw bodies as he ran out.Tiffany Johnson
A bartender who was working at the Orlando nightclub says at first she thought the gunshots were music. But after a second shot there was a pause, and then more shots and Johnson realised something was wrong. Johnson says people dropped to the ground and started running out. She ran to a fast-food restaurant across the street and met one of her customers who let her get in his car and they drove away. Johnson says her first instinct was to get somewhere safe.

Christopher Leinonen

Leinonen was at the club and is missing. That's according to his mother, Christine Leinonen. She drove to Orlando at 4am. She hasn't heard from her son and fears the worst. She was standing in front of an Orlando hospital just down the street from Pulse. She says: "These are nonsensical killings of our children. They're killing our babies!" She said her son's friend Brandon Wolf made it out alive by hiding in the bathroom and running out as bullets were flying.

Fatriana Evans

She was outside when shots were fired. Evans says, "It sounded like fireworks - pop, pop, pop - and then everybody scatters."

Jackie Smith

Smith was inside the club and says two friends next to her were shot. She says she hasn't received updates on their conditions. She came out of the hospital and burst into tears in the arms of friends. She says: "Some guy walked in and started shooting everybody. He had an automatic rifle, so nobody stood a chance. I just tried to get out of there."

Joshua McGill

He described in a posting on Facebook how he fled the attack. "I hid under a car and found one of the victims that was shot," McGill said, describing trying to bandage the victim with his shirt and quietly dragging him to a nearby police officer. "Words cannot and will not describe the feeling of that. Being covered in blood. Trying to save a guy's life."

Mina Justice

Justice, who was outside the club, was trying to contact her 30-year-old son, Eddie, who texted her when the shooting happened and asked her to call police. He told her he ran into a bathroom with other club patrons to hide. He then texted her: "He's coming." Justice added: "The next text said: 'He has us, and he's in here with us'.That was the last conversation."

Rob Rick

He said the shooting started just as "everybody was drinking their last sip". He estimated more than 100 people were still inside when he heard shots, got on the ground and crawled toward a DJ booth. A bouncer knocked down a partition between the club area and an area where only workers are allowed. People were then able to escape through the back of the club.

Christopher Hansen

He said he was in the VIP lounge when he heard gunshots. He continued to hear shooting even after he emerged and saw the wounded being tended across the street. "I was thinking, 'Are you kidding me?' So I just dropped down. I just said, 'Please, please, please, I want to make it out'. And when I did, I saw people shot. I saw blood. You hope and pray you don't get shot."

- AP, Reuters, UK Daily Telegraph

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 26 Sep 2016 21:18:15 Processing Time: 559ms