One of the first witnesses interviewed after the shooting in Orlando Sunday said he and another witness held closed a small exit door in an apparent attempt to prevent the shooter from following their group into an alleyway.
Luis Burbano, an actor based in Orlando, explained the scene of the crime in two interviews with Fox News Channel and ABC News. Burbano said he was in the club while the shooting was ongoing for “no more than a minute, minute and a half.”
Burbano claimed he and a group of around 20 people were able to escape through a small side alley for employees just outside the main building. As the sounds of gunshots began to get closer and closer, Burbano and another witness held closed a small door. Burbano said the entire group was “crammed” in the alley while trying to escape through a hole in a fence.
“We went to this alleyway which led for only employees and … me and this random guy tried blocking the door, cause at that point, like I said, the bullets were getting louder and closer so we blocked this door,” Burbano told ABC News.
“And we did hear banging, and I pray it wasn’t anyone trying to escape, because I would forever feel guilty, but at that point there was about 20 people in front of us crammed in this little alleyway with a big hole in one of the fences and just trying to topple over, just trying to … escape, just run.”
In a separate interview with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly, Burbano was asked if he was concerned his attempt to hold the door would have prevented people fleeing from getting out.
“That was on my mind, there was banging, there was pushing of the door, that was on my mind,” said Burbano. “But at that point in time, I just tried doing what I thought would be best a that moment, because it was getting louder and getting closer.”
When Kelly asked if he was concerned about getting trampled, Burbano said he “didn’t care about getting trampled” and that he “wanted everyone to get out.”
“My goal was making sure my best friend and these people had space cause panic and chaos was not allowing everyone to get through there, so I pulled in that door,” said Burbano. “It was only about 10 seconds, fifteen seconds it seemed like. I felt like that was enough time … and people make there way through and then there was a gaping hole in the fence that someone busted through and people figured out another route.”
Burbano also explained how he helped tend to the wounded after escaping, creating tourniquets out of t-shirts to help stem bleeding.
“I’m far from a hero … you had said earlier with me on the phone … please don’t say that, I am not, I am far from that, I don’t feel like a hero,” Burbano told Kelly. “I don’t feel like even a survivor, I just feel like a person who had to do what they had to do in that moment in time.”
Omar Mateen, the perpetrator responsible for the attacks, killed 49 and injured another 53 in the deadly assault before being killed by police.
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