US & Canada

Orlando shooting: How Pulse bouncer opened the door to safety

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Media captionImran Yousuf saved dozens in Orlando, but regrets not saving more

In the aftermath of Sunday's shooting in Orlando, stories of courage amid the horror are emerging.

Imran Yousuf

Imran Yousuf is a 24-year-old bouncer at the Pulse nightclub.

He served as a US Marine in Afghanistan. But on the night of 11 June, he ended up saving dozens of lives in Orlando.

"The initial one was three or four (shots). That was a shock, " he said.

"Everyone froze. I'm here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone."

He was one of few people that knew just beyond the people, there was a door, and safety. But it needed unlatching.

"And I'm screaming 'Open the door! Open the door!' And no one is moving because they are scared," he explained.

"There was only one choice. Either we all stay there and we all die, or I could take the chance, and I jumped over to open that latch and we got everyone that we can out of there."

He estimates about 60 or 70 people went through the door to safety.

Joshua McGill

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Media captionJoshua McGill describes how he stopped a victim from bleeding to death

Clubber Joshua McGill says he was hiding behind a car in a car park when he saw bartender Rodney Sumter stumble around, bleeding profusely.

Mr McGill pulled him behind the car and used his shirt to stop the bleeding from wounds in the victim's arms.

But what could he do to stem the blood from a third gunshot wound in the back?

"I just applied as much pressure as I could as we were walking him to the nearest officer that was on standby," Mr McGill said.

With no ambulances available, Mr McGill says police officers instructed him to lie down in the patrol car with Mr Sumter on top of him while squeezing his back in order to constrict the blood flow.

Mr McGill told him, "Stick with me. You're going to be fine. I promise you, everything is going to be okay."

Mr Sumter, a father of two, is now awaiting surgery at a hospital in the Orlando area.

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Christopher Hansen

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Image caption "I wasn't sure if he was dead or alive", Christopher Hansen said of the injured man he was trying to help

Christopher Hansen was enjoying his first time at Pulse when he heard the shots.

He crawled on the floor to escape when the attack began.

"There was blood, blood everywhere," he said.

Mr Hansen first helped a bleeding man who was lying on the ground.

"I took my bandana off, put it in a knot, and shoved it in a bullet hole in his back," he said.

He helped put the man on a stretcher before he was taken away by medical crews.

Mr Hansen then helped a woman who was shot in the arm, telling her: "I'm not leaving you until they actually move you."

"I am so proud of my son. Both as a man, and as a gay man," Mr Hansen's father, Bill, wrote on Facebook.

Image copyright Facebook

Edward Sotomayor Jr

Known as Eddie to friends and family, Mr Sotomayor, 34, was at the club with his boyfriend, and was shot in the back as he pushed his boyfriend through a club door to safety.

He was known to friends as very outgoing and very friendly.

One friend described him as "one of the greatest guys I've ever met. He touched so many people's lives because he's such a positive person. He would do anything for anybody."

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