An Orlando police officer named Omar Delgado, who is regarded as a hero for being one of the first responders to the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting, is being let go partly because he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
Delgado was one of the first officers to arrive at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016 after a gunman opened fire on patrons inside, killing 49 people in the second-deadliest mass shooting in US history. Once on the scene, Delgado searched through bodies on the ground in order to find survivors to help get out.
Following the Pulse nightclub tragedy, Delgado began to suffer from PTSD and was unable to be on patrol duty. He has since served a desk job at the police station since the attack. Now he will be terminated just six months before he would have earned his pension for being on the force for 10 years.
One survivor that Delgado helped named Angel Colon, who had suffered six gunshot wounds the night of the attack, told WFTV he’s shocked to hear the officer will be let go:
“He was my hero. He saved my life and for them to just do what they’re doing to him in front of my face is a slap to my face as well,” Colon told WFTV, a local ABC affiliate. “He did his job that night on June 12 so they should have his back 100 percent totally and just be there for whatever he needs.”
Officials at the Orlando Police Department did not comment on the termination, but Delgado says the department expressed that they need to replace him with an officer who is able to go on patrol, which Delgado can’t do because of his PTSD. Now he plans to apply for disability.
In the days following the Pulse nightclub attack many showed support for those affected by the tragedy. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling even wrote a comic compilation as tribute to the victims. Nightclub bouncers are also being trained to protect against such attacks in the future.