Orlando Mass Shooting: Amid Heartbreak, Meet Heroes Who Emerged

The Orlando mass shooting resulted in horror, tragedy, and heartbreaking losses. But amid the nightmare, heroes emerged, pointed out the Washington Post.

It was President Obama who, in his address to the nation, reflected on the positive to be found as the country mourned for those hurt and killed in the Orlando mass shooting on June 12.

“As we go together, we will draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts — friends who helped friends, took care of each other and saved lives. In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another.”

Those who stepped forward during and after the Orlando nightclub disaster looked for opportunities to make a difference. And in many cases, their desire to provide help wherever needed made the difference between life and death.

A physician reaches out to offer comfort to a woman shot in the Orlando mass shooting.
A physician reaches out to offer comfort to a woman shot in the Orlando mass shooting. [Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

One such person is Josh McGill. He had left the nightclub, unharmed, and then observed someone else bleeding. McGill moved to save the stranger, taking off his shirt to try to stop the blood and subsequently following a police officer’s directions to keep the man conscious.

Rodney Sumter, a bartender at the club, was the individual saved by McGill. Sumter received reassurance from this hero as well as physical assistance, and it is thought that he survived because of those actions.

A DJ, Ray Rivera, hid behind his booth when the gunfire began. The DJ initially was joined by both a woman and a man. Although the man ran when the shooting temporarily stopped, it was Rivera who remained with the woman, protecting her as he went with her to a safe area.

Memorial vigils paid tribute to victims of the Orlando mass shooting.
Memorial vigils paid tribute to victims of the Orlando mass shooting. [Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images]

Blood Donors Step Forward To Make A Difference

Blood donors were needed, and they came by the hundreds, standing patiently to give. So many heroes stepped forward to seek a way to make a difference by donating blood that the blood bank asked some to return later.

GoFundMe donors also came forward. It took less than 24 hours for the fundraising page dedicated to helping victims to achieve $1.3 million. The money came from everywhere, from both groups and individuals. Executive Pride donated $30,000, while Zunaira Islam gave $2,000 and revealed why.

“I am gay and muslim. I’m really sorry and upset and that this happened. Sick people with no cause to live and no love inside them, sick people full of anger and hatred, will always use any authority they can, specially religion, to justify their actions,” wrote Islam. “I hope this fund pays for all the emergent surgeries that had to be done, the rehab, the follow up visits.”

Those hurt during the Orlando mass shooting receive support.
Those hurt during the Orlando mass shooting receive support. [Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Hope Amid Heartbreak

Those heroes who looked for ways to help provided hope and comfort for those shocked by the Orlando mass shooting, noted CNN.

They could not undo the tragedies or the shock that a single individual with a pistol and an assault rifle had inflected harm to 53 people in a gay nightclub and taken the lives of 49 individuals. But those who acted to heal and help did give hope to people such as Susan Forbes, the spokesperson for the OneBlood blood bank.

Forbes revealed that across the state, 5,500 units were gathered to use for those wounded in the mass shooting. The giving of blood in Orlando continued through to 4 a.m. Monday, added Susan. And to her, it is those who gave who symbolize Orlando, not the mass shooting.

“People want to help. This is Orlando. That horrific event is not our city.”

One person who was a victim also is being remembered as a hero. Edward Sotomayor Jr. lost his life in protecting his boyfriend from the bullets, reported CNN.

Sotomayor served as a brand manager for the LGBTQ online travel agency ALandCHUCK.travel.

“He was a kind and loving man,” revealed one of his friends.

Another individual who stood out as both a victim and hero is Brenda Lee Marquez McCool. She had been dancing with her son, Isaiah Henderson. When she saw the shooter, she pushed her son to safety. But the mom of 11 died.

“I want my mother to be remembered as a great person, a person who loved you no matter what color, no matter what ethnicity, no matter what sexual orientation,” said, Mike Marquez, another son. “I want her to be remembered as a loving and caring person.”

[Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images]