How One Officer Rescued Survivor From Orlando Club Immediately After Shooting Began

Angel Colon, a survivor of the attack, talked about an officer who saved him.

ByABC News
June 15, 2016, 1:29 PM

— -- A survivor of the massacre at an Orlando nightclub last weekend said that he was saved by an officer who whisked him away as carnage ensued around him.

Angel Colon, who also spoke at a Tuesday news conference at Orlando Health, said that he was preparing to leave the club at the time that Omar Mateen opened fire on club-goers.

Colon said that he could "feel the heat of the gun" and was struck while shielding a female companion. He said that he fell to the ground and was trampled as panicked men and women fled the Pulse nightclub.

Mateen went around the club firing at victims again to ensure they were dead, including Colon and then was drawn into a firefight at the front of the club with police.

That's when Colon said that an officer, whose name is not known, saved his life.

"I looked up and he was there," Colon said.

Colon said that the officer yelled, "Who is alive?" into the club from the patio area. With voices screaming around him, Colon looked the officer in the eyes and begged for help.

PHOTO: Investigators from the office of the medical examiner investigate on the west side of Pulse nightclub where a gunman opened fire on Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.
Investigators from the office of the medical examiner investigate on the west side of Pulse nightclub where a gunman opened fire on Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.

"The only way I can get you out of here is if I just grab your hands and I run," the officer said, according to Colon.

Colon asked to be carried and the officer told him that it wasn't possible, and that they would be forced to run.

"Let's go," Colon said he told the officer.

The officer then grabbed him and dragged him across the broken glass. Colon was wearing shorts at the time, he said, and received cuts up and down his body. Due to the heroic efforts of the officer, Colon said, he was out of Pulse roughly 25 minutes after the shooting erupted.

"I wish that I could meet him so I could hug him," Colon said of the man who saved his life.

The Orlando Police Department said it did not know which officer helped Colon but said that his account "sounds right."

After Colon was pulled from the club, a hostage situation took place inside with 15 to 20 survivors trapped in one bathroom and four to five others who were trapped in the other bathroom along with Mateen, according to the FBI.

A man going by the name "Orlando," who played dead inside of a toilet stall, told ABC News that he heard Mateen's voice from the bathroom, telling hostages not to call the police or text. He said that Mateen called someone on the phone and said he wanted America to "stop bombing ISIS in Syria."

According to the FBI, the "someone" at the other end of the call was likely police. The FBI told reporters today that Mateen spoke with police three different times from the club during the attack, which started at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. He called and hung up, called again and spoke with a dispatcher. The dispatcher then returned his call, according to the FBI.

Orlando Police Department officials said officers decided to move on the club when Mateen threatened to begin putting bomb vests on hostages. Around 5 a.m., they drove an armored vehicle through one of the bathroom walls, penetrating the building's exterior. They also threw "distraction devices," which released sound and light.

Mateen exited the hole made by officers along with some of the hostages. He engaged in a gun battle with officers and was killed, authorities said.

Colon told ABC News that he would have "bled to death" if not for the officer who pulled him from the club, allowing him to get treatment before the ordeal had ended for many others. He also expressed gratitude during Tuesday's news conference about the work done by doctors, who worked to ensure his recovery.

"If it wasn't for you guys, I wouldn't be here," Colon said to the staff of the hospital, his voice shaking with emotion. "I will love you guys forever."