In Their Words


‘It was just a matter of instinct. And I’m screaming, “‘Open the door! Open the door!”’

‘You could just tell it was a high caliber. I ducked behind my DJ booth.’

‘People were running from the main room. The guy took off and the girl was down there panicking. She needed to be quiet. I’m not leaving you until they actually move you.’

‘There was blood, blood everywhere. I took my bandana off, put it in a knot, and shoved it in a bullet hole in his back. I wasn’t sure if he was dead or alive.’

‘I can hear the police officers in the front seat and that’s when I learned his name.’

‘God put me at the club. Made me stay behind to help a complete stranger. I had to make promises I didn’t know I would be able to keep.’

‘Keep him conscious. Keep him conscious. While holding him as tight as I could, I can hear the police officers in the front seat saying, “Keep him conscious, talk to him.” That is when I learned his name.’

‘I don’t even think he finished the sentence when we heard more shots go out.’

‘It was just a matter of instinct. Just so much chaos. We didn’t know where the bullets were going. I looked inside and saw people were lying on the floor in the main club.’

‘It’s very, very important to get this out and not keep it bottled up inside: I stood toe-to-toe with a mass murderer.’

‘I was just glad I was able to help him out.’

‘And no one is moving because they are scared. Only one choice. Either we stay there and die, or I take the chance. I jumped over. Opened that latch. Got everyone that we can out of there.’

‘I wish I could have saved more.’



All words and phrases are those of heroes and survivors from the Pulse Orlando shooting on June 12, 2016: Christopher Hansen, Marine Veteran Imram Yousuf, Joshua McGill, Ray Rivera a.k.a. DJ Infinite, Officer Omar Delgado, and Police Chief John Mino.
Sources: ABC News, CBS News, NBC, Facebook, GMA, BuzzFeed.

Alexander Smith is a prolific writer. He works as a copywriter for a Fortune 100 company. His poetry has appeared in ‘For Poets Must Love,’ and his short fiction has been published in ‘City & Sea.’
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