As we near the one year anniversary of attack on Pulse nightclub, the city of Orlando has released footage from police officers’ bodycams that sheds new light on the terrifying events of June 12, 2016.
More than 30 videos totaling 11 hours have been released, showing the Orlando Police Department descending on the club and taking in the full scope of what was happening. The footage also shows officers getting victims to crawl out of the club—in some cases frisking patrons to ensure they were not one of the assailants.
“A person reached up and asked for help, but at that point we didn’t know where the shooter was, if he was detained, if he was deceased, or what was going on,” said Kyle Medvetz, one of the officers on the scene. “So, as much as I wanted to help, I could not help him until we know for sure the shooter was detained, contained or deceased.”
Police reportedly did try to get as many victims out as possible, despite the chance that the shooter was hiding among them.
The footage also reveals just how dark and chaotic the scene was: Officer Michael Napolitano was actually struck by a bullet in his helmet—if it had landed an inch lower, he would have been dead. But instead, says Chief John Mina, Napolitano “went down to the ground still returning fire, and the other officers returned fire, killing the suspect.”
ABC News will present portions of the footage, along with interviews with police and survivors, tonight on World News Tonight and Nightline.
“Several of us commented that this was gonna change the city forever,” said Commander Roger Brennan, “and probably change what we do forever.”
Note: This video is not easy to watch. We debated internally whether to include it or not, but given how profoundly our community was affected by this incident, we ultimately felt it was newsworthy. Use your own discretion in deciding whether to view