Inside the Orlando Nightclub Carnage: Witnesses Speak Out

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A man who was inside the Orlando gay nightclub that was the scene of a massacre early this morning described the mayhem as people were trying to figure out what was going on.

Luis Burbano said that at first he thought the sound of gunshots was just being done by the DJ who was adding effects to the set.

"I don't remember screaming. I don't even remember breathing. I just remember dragging my best friend down," Burbano told ABC News.

As he was trying to get out of the club, called Pulse Orlando, which bills itself on its website as "Orlando's Premier Gay Night Club," Burbano said it was somewhat difficult because there was "everything from drinks on the floor to blood."

Once there was a break in the shooting, Burbano said that he and his friends "started jetting toward the side exit" but as they headed in that direction, "the volume of the gunshots started getting closer and louder."

"I lost my shirt because I used them as tourniquets," he said, telling of how he saw one man who "lost half his arm and this other man was walking around with a bullet in his leg and he had no idea."

Brandon Wolf was another one of the patrons who survived. Wolf told ABC News that he was dancing and "having a great time" before telling friends that he was going to the bathroom. He heard 12 to 20 gunshots fired when they were in the bathroom and so they just ran for the front door. They were able to make it out of the building but they still heard shots firing "for minutes."

Joshua McGill was at the club with his roommates and was in "kind of a daze" at first because he didn't see the gunshots or the shooter.

"It was just a loud sound, so we didn't know what it could have been," McGill told ABC News.

McGill and his friends sneaked out the back door and jumped over a fence to flee the site before he saw that he needed to take action.

"I happened to see someone covered in blood stumbling through the parking lot," McGill said, adding that he then saw that the man had gunshots in both arms so McGill took off his shirt to make a tourniquet before helping get him to the hospital in an ambulance.

"I said a prayer for him and I let him know that I'll be there waiting for him as long as I can," McGill said, noting that he did not know the man before this morning. McGill has been in touch with the man's friends.

Ray Riviera was one of the DJs playing at Pulse at the time of the shooting and he said he was confused by the sounds at first as well, thinking they may be firecrackers.

He said at first he turned the music down slightly before it happened again.

"I heard them again and turned the music all the way off," Riviera told ABC News. "I'm basically hiding behind my DJ booth."

"It sounded like he was getting closer and closer to the patio area," Riviera said of the shooter.

Janiel Gonzales had just ordered a Red Bull when he heard the sound of shots, prompting him to drop to the floor.

"He was just spraying very wildly, like whoever was in the way was going to get hit, basically," Gonzales told ABC News of the shooter.

Other witnesses have posted their accounts on the club's Facebook page, including Ricardo J. Negron Almodovar who identified himself as a survivor who was inside Pulse when the shooting unfolded.

"People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran," he wrote on the club's Facebook page.

Officials have now confirmed that 50 people were killed in the shooting and at least 53 others have been hospitalized.

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