Omar Delgado, one of the first police officers to arrive at Pulse Nightclub after the June 2016 massacre that killed 49 people, developed PTSD in the aftermath. Delgado spent hours in the nightclub: After ushering gunshot victims to safety, he was present for the hours-long standoff with shooter Omar Mateen.
"I can recall how everybody was positioned. I can recall the blood. I can see where a lot of the gunshots, the rounds, went into these people," Delgado told CNN, describing his PTSD. "There are so many things that trigger the remembrance of that night: an iPhone ringing, hearing that sound for hours and knowing that there's a loved one trying to call that other person that was inside that club."
As reported by ABC, Delgado saved the life of Angel Colon and was hailed as a hero for his courage that night. After being diagnosed with PTSD, Delgado was assigned to desk work. On Monday, he was informed that he's being dismissed from the Eatonville Police Department and, although officials declined to provide a reason, Delgado says it's due to his PTSD diagnosis.
According to USA Today, Delgado's last day is December 31. If he remained with the police force, continuing his desk work, for just six more months, Delgado would receive 64% of his salary for the rest of his life, as reported by The Orlando Sentinel. Due to the timing of his termination, he'll instead receive just 42% of his salary starting when he turns 55 (Delgado is now 45).
"I don’t need to be a police officer with my gun belt and so forth to do those little tasks," Delgado said, according to The Sentinel. "Could they have let me do that for six more months? That’s the debate."
Prior to yesterday's meeting that confirmed Delgado's dismissal, Colon spoke with local WFTV Channel 9. "[Delgado] was my hero. He saved my life, and for them to just do what they're doing in front of my face is a slap to my face as well," Colon said. "God sent him and he was my hero that night. Without him, who knows if I would have stayed inside that club and not made it out. He was there, he did his job that night on June 12, so they should have his back 100%."
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