Meet Some of the Heroes Who Saved Lives in Orlando

June 13th 2016

Laura Donovan

As we continue to grieve the 49 victims of Sunday morning's mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse, several recent news reports have surfaced about heroes who helped save lives during the massacre.


Joshua McGill, an Orlando resident, wrote on Facebook that he hid under a car after escaping the shooting and assisted a victim who was shot.

"I hid under a car and found one of the victims that was shot," McGill wrote. "I tied my shirt and his shirt over his wounds to stop the bleeding and got him secretly to the nearest officer who then transported us to the ER. Words cannot and will not describe the feeling of that. Being covered in blood.. Trying to save a [guy's] life that I don't even know regardless that I'm fine..just traumatized. The things I had to say to the guy and make promises I didn't know I would be able to keep or not to keep him conscious while holding him as tight as I could and blood everywhere on me."

McGill added that he said a prayer for the man and only got his first name: Rodney. McGill learned afterward that the man's full name is Rodney Sumter, a bartender at Pulse, according to "Good Morning America."

"If anyone knows of a guy named Rodney that was shot and injured tonight," McGill wrote on Facebook. "Please let me know he is okay. I felt God put me at the club and made me stay behind to help a complete stranger. For whatever reason that may be.. I don't know, but I do know it was hopefully to save his life. Maybe God be with us all in this time of need."

McGill wrote in a later Facebook post that he heard that Rodney is recovering, and posted an emotional video about being overwhelmed by the amount of support he has received on social media:

McGill told "Good Morning America" that he saw Sumter's gunshot wounds and "applied as much pressure as [he] could as we were walking him to the nearest officer that was on standby."

“I can hear the police officers in the front seat saying, ‘Keep him conscious, talk to him,’” McGill said. “That’s when I learned his name.”

Ray Rivera, a DJ at the club, has also been credited as a hero.

Rivera told The Daily Beast that he helped a woman flee the club after she and another man hid by his DJ booth.

“Then the officers were there, guns drawn—they showed up there within a minute or so,” Rivera told the publication. “Cars were coming out of everywhere.”

A man named Edward Sotomayor Jr., who did not survive the shooting, reportedly died saving his boyfriend, who escaped the club.

"[T]he 34-year-old was shot in the back as he desperately tried to shield his boyfriend from a shooter’s savage volley of gunfire," News.com.au journalist Debra Killalea wrote in a news report published Monday. "Tragically, while he managed to get his boyfriend out to safety, he died in hospital from his injuries, according to friends."

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