A barman from Pulse nightclub – the scene of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history – has revealed how a hug from a stranger saved his life.
27-year-old father of two Rodney Sumter was shot in both arms by Omar Mateen in the homophobic terrorist attack on the Orlando, Florida club that left 49 dead and 53 injured.
According to The Mirror, he was bleeding and close to collapse when he encountered another victim, Joshua McGill.
I went and grabbed him, brought him behind the car where I was, told him everything’s going to be OK, I’m here to help him. That’s when I noticed he’d been shot in each arm.
Joshua – a nursing student – used his shirt to tie around Rodney’s wounds and the pair managed to make it to a police safe zone outside the club, only to find there were no ambulances available to help Rodney.
Joshua then noticed another wound in the bartender’s back and was advised to hug him as hard as possible to keep pressure on the wound and prevent Rodney from bleeding out as they headed for the hospital.
Fortunately, Joshua’s actions managed to get Rodney the medical attention he needed and he is now reported to be recovering from surgery.
It has now been claimed that Mateen visited the LGBT nightclub on several occasions and used gay dating app Jack’d – with a regular club-goer revealing he had been messaging him for a year.
Mateen is reported to have pledged allegiance to Islamic State during a 911 call and Daesh have also claimed responsibility for the attack – although investigators maintain there is no evidence linking the terrorist group with the attack.