One of the Orlando shooting survivors has admitted to locking an exit door, putting dozens of revelers’ lives at risk during the massacre.
The revelations about Luis Burbano’s actions the night of the shooting have come to light after he gave an interview, saying he ‘regrets’ his second chance at life. Burbano was questioned about the rumors he locked other partiers inside the club during an interview With Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Sunday, and during the interview he admitted that it was risky.
When gunman Omar Mateen first started firing inside Orlando, Florida gay club Pulse around 2am on Sunday, Burbano says he dropped to the ground and then looked for an exit.
Nearby, he saw people moving through a small ’employee’s only’ door hidden behind a curtain, and followed after.
On the other side of the door was a narrow hallway where Burbano estimates about 20 people were crawling over each other to get to the exit at the other end.
‘That was on my mind,’ Burbano said. ‘There was banging, there was pushing of the door…but at that point in time, I just tried doing what I thought would be best at that moment because [the gunshots were] getting louder and getting closer.’ Burbano says he decided to shut the door behind him because the hallway was getting dangerously overcrowded.
Burbano went on to say that he only closed the door for 10 to 15 seconds, in order to let the other people exit, and that he prays his actions didn’t lead to anyone getting killed on the other side of the door.
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‘You don’t know what to do until that happens and i just thought I was doing the right thing,’ he said. There does seem to be at least one major discrepancy between Burbano’s story and those that were locked in the club.
Witness Janiel Gonzalez told ABC News that it was the exit door to the outside, and not the ’employee’s only’ door that someone slammed shut. If that’s the case, then Burbano’s excuse that he was trying to protect from overcrowding in the hallway doesn’t line up.
‘In a moment of desperation we were all crawling on the floor trying to find a place to exit. I looked to my right and I could see people going through some curtains. We were digging through the curtains and we finally see a door.
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‘Fifty people were trying to jump over each other trying to exit the place. There was a guy holding the door and not letting us exit. He’s like “Stay inside, stay inside.” As he is saying that, the shooter keeps getting closer and closer and the sound of the bullets is getting closer.’Everyone starts to panic. People are getting trampled. We’re shouting “Let us out, let us out!” Gonzalez recalled. Gonzalez voiced his skepticism over a person who would trap innocent bystanders inside a club with a gunman, saying he at first feared the man may have been working in concert with the gunman.
‘This guy is trying to prevent us from leaving. Maybe they’re working together,’ Gonzalez said.