The night before the Pulse A nightclub was attacked in Orlando by a Gunman in the city a high-capacity rifle, Jorshua Hernández spent three hours bleeding in a He was stuck in a bathroom stall and couldn’t find an exit.
Javier Nava was another patron who saw a He thought he could escape from his roof by using a ladder that was suspended in the ceiling. It was a ladder that led nowhere. a Loft-style office where he trapped him a A bullet hit his abdomen. César Rodríguez, who on a The whim was gone Pulse Enjoy Latin Night recalls watching people try to run out an entrance, then rush inside when they realized there were no doors outside.
“If they had more doors, one could survive and there wouldn’t be so many dead,” Mr. Hernández, 29, said. “If the windows had not been covered, we would have looked for alternative ways to get out. I have always said it: That place had one way in, and one way out.”
There have been questions raised about the unpermitted constructions, the code enforcement of the nightclub and the questionable design. In 2016, 49 people died and another 53 were injured. raised periodically Over the years. According to both the city and club owners, the facility was equipped with enough exits for all users and met building code requirements. Responsibility is a full-fledged responsibility for the nation’s second-deadliest mass shooting fell on Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old security guard who carried it out and then died in a Shots fired by police.
But the survivors of these victims and their relatives are asking new questions. They filed more than a dozen complaints in July with the Orlando Police Department. a A criminal probe is being conducted to see if the shocking death toll could have been caused by insufficient escapes, renovations made on the fly and lax code enforcement. The club’s owner and city officials claim that they were in full compliance with the building codes and it would be wrong to say such issues led to additional deaths.
Searching for the missing for answers, the survivors said they had taken inspiration from victims’ relatives in Uvalde, Texas, who brought attention to the delayed police response to a Last year, a school shooting was reported in the area and it has been publicized. for There should be more restrictions on the sale and use of assault rifles with military styling.
“I think what happened in Uvalde and with Black Lives Matter is that we now have space to criticize and analyze,” Zach Blair is the vice president at Victims First. a A nonprofit organisation that spent four years conducting research Pulse How the number of deaths grew so quickly. “When Pulse happened, it quickly became about celebrating the police response, which took three hours. With so many mass shootings, now we know that three hours is not normal.”
After last call, around 2 am the gay nightclub remained crowded. a.m. on June 12, 2016, a A gunman, who has pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants group, stormed into the building with a The semi-automatic military rifle is a weapon that can be used by both men and women. a Glock handgun 9-millimeter.
Customers scramble for a Some windows provide a way to exit the darkness of the disco. crime scene photos showThe. had been blocked and covered as part a The conversion to a Restaurants a nightclub. The building’s owner has said the club had six exits. The club had six exits, but only two led anywhere. a Documents indicate that a closed-off patio was added to the house without permission. a Permit was issued after the opening of the club. The club opened two more doors to the area surrounding an eight-foot fence It was also built without a Permits are required to be placed very near the building.
F.B.I. Photos and footage from body cameras released by the F.B.I. in 2023 shows that the fence was created a very narrow alleyway enclosed by the building’s roof overhang, and the way out was blocked by a large soft drink cooler.
The spokesperson for Club owner says a permit for It was in fact acquired some time after the fence had been erected. However, there are no records of the fence being purchased. a Documents releasing the permit are released by city.
The shooting a The security guard had to punch a The police homicide report states that a small hole in the fence was used to rescue 20 people trapped for a short time.
One of the issues raised by the police was that the door to the exit had slammed. According to reports, a police officer heard at least one customer banging the door in an attempt to leave. a A police report was cited by one of the latest submissions. The report said that another pair of double doors were blocked by a Stripper stage furniture and equipment.
Mr. Rodríguez, who suffered broken bones when people trampled over him, remembers people’s frantic efforts to escape.
“I saw people run out the doors and come back inside when they realized there was no way out,” Mr. Rodríguez said. “If there had been glass windows, someone could have broken them.”
The shooting Victims First Anita Busch founded and funds the group. Anita Busch is the founder and funder of this group. a The cousin of a former journalist killed during the mass shootings at a Aurora movie theater, Colorado, 2012. A group of friends spent more than $15,000 over four years to buy a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Pulse public records requests. The volunteers from this group reviewed hundreds of email, blueprints, and permits. They then gave their findings to the attendees at a Meeting with survivors and families in July. Many flew from Puerto Rico.
The following are some of the ways to get in touch with us a In a statement, M. Blair explained that after making a formal complaint to the Orlando Police Department, he was determined to pursue redress. a Fuller Accounting after an elected City Official told him that a Three years after the incident, a phone call revealed that code violations and unpermitted improvements at the club were preventing the rescue of the victims.
“This began my research into the issue,” He wrote. In his complaint, he cited a 2018 medical journal study It has been suggested that sixteen of those who died might have lived if they had received treatment sooner.
In the complaint, he and his colleagues cited documents that they had discovered. a “pattern of the city allowing the Pulse Nightclub to operate in violation of City codes.”
In 2010, records shared by the group in the meeting of July, revealed that the city notified club owners about the receipts the club had made. a conditional use permit for a Restaurant and Martini Bar, Not a Dance club and the owner had agreed to remove it in 2004, but has never removed the dance floor. The dance floor was the scene of 20 deaths.
The city’s press secretary, Cassandra Bell, insisted that while the records Shown Below “inconsistencies,” She acknowledged that the city was not in full compliance of regulations. She recognized that the city “does not have records that indicate whether a permit was received or not” for Fences are a good way to keep children and pets safe.
“These records demonstrate that the Pulse facility was safe, that it met occupancy, fire and related requirements,” She said “We found no pattern of critical life-safety violations.”
She claimed that it was a mischaracterization of the city’s records to suggest that the club had been in violation of its conditional use permit by operating a The facility was a dance club. a Fire exits are reviewed just a few weeks prior to the shooting.
“After thorough investigations by law enforcement (including the F.B.I.), and a detailed after-action investigation and report, we do not believe any life/safety issues prevented anyone from getting out of the building, or rescuers from getting in,” Bell, Ms. a statement. “Even if work was completed without a permit, that doesn’t mean that work was done improperly or that it created a safety issue.”
Orlando Police Department is currently reviewing the criminal complaints that have been received, according to Sherry.
Barbara Poma, who owns the nightclub property with her husband, Rosario Poma, had — in a statement released before the filing of the new criminal complaints — disputed many of the issues raised by the group, but the statement did not discuss the issues in detail.
“Out of respect to those impacted by this tragedy, I have never responded to the handful of individuals who continue to spread a myriad of untruths about my husband and me, falsely blaming us for what was an unforeseeable terrorist attack,” “, said the May statement. “While I recognize and respect these individuals’ grief, that should not serve as a free pass for intentionally spreading lies about us.”
As part of a A negligence case against the club has been filed, but the trial is still pending. Pulse Keith Altman said that the victims had settled their claims. He represented 60 families and survivors. With more than 100 victims and survivors and $2 million insurance coverage, the payouts were small.
“In the end, what is definitely true is that Omar Mateen caused this disaster,” Altman, Mr. “He is the primary cause, but there were contributing factors.”
The current efforts of many survivors and their relatives are not centered on money but rather persuading city officials to reconsider what they could have done in order to save more lives.
“At the end of the day, all we are asking for is a little bit of accountability,” Norman Casiano is a 31-year-old man. a former chef who was shot in the back and then hid in the club’s bathroom. In the years since, he’s been disabled and unable to do any work.
“Millions of dollars are not going to bring my life back,” He said. “It won’t make me a chef again. It won’t allow me to sleep again.”