Survivors of Orlando nightclub massacre hid from shooter in bathroom
Patience Carter expresses survivor's remorse; Angel Santiago hid underneath sink
ORLANDO, Fla. – Two survivors who remain hospitalized in the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub massacre spoke about the ordeal Tuesday from their hospital beds.
Patience Carter and Angel Santiago are two of the 53 victims who survived the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Both went to Pulse Orlando on Latin night to dance and have fun with friends, but they left after a barrage of bullets and pandemonium that prompted them to seek shelter in different bathrooms.
Carter, who was visiting Orlando from Philadelphia when she was wounded in Sunday morning's shooting, read a poem in which she conveyed her survivor's remorse.
"The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy, wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready," the 20-year-old said during a news conference at Florida Hospital Orlando. "As the world mourns the victims killed and viciously slain, I feel guilty about screaming about my legs in pain."
Santiago spoke about how he saw the gunman indiscriminately shooting everyone in the club.
"We continue to hear gunfire," Santiago recalled. "We dropped to the ground in the handicap stall. I hid as best as I could underneath the sink. There wasn't much protection there, but I felt it was better than nothing."
Carter said she could hear the shooter, identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American-born Muslim, on the phone with 911 and speaking in foreign tongue.
"The gunman was in there with us, and he actually made a call to 911 from there, and everybody could hear who was in the bathroom who survived could hear him talking to 911 saying that the reason why he's doing this is because he wants America to stop bombing his country," Carter said. "And from that conversation from 911, he pledged his allegiance to ISIS and he started speaking and -- I believe after he got off the phone with 911 -- he started speaking in Arabic."
Mateen killed 49 people before he was fatally shot by Orlando police.
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