The lawsuit says some officers stayed outside the club as the massacre took place and others, rather than try to stop the killer, detained uninjured survivors fleeing the gunfire, preventing them from using heir phones to contact loved ones.
“While people, unarmed, innocent were inside a club getting absolutely massacred by a crazed gunman there were a bunch of people … with guns, with the training and capability to take that shooter out,” Solomon Radner, attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, told ABC News.
Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured more than 50 others in June 2016 when he opened fire at the Orlando nightclub. Gruler, who worked extra duty as security for Pulse, heard gunshots and engaged in a gunbattle with Mateen after the shooting began, police said.
“Nearly two years after the horrific act of hate inside the Pulse nightclub, our community continues to mourn the 49 lives taken and provide support for all those impacted,” the statement said. “On the morning of June 12, 2016, federal, state and local law enforcement officers and first responders put themselves in harm’s way to save as many lives as possible. Our first responders are committed to the safety of this community, and they stand ready to protect and serve.”
Police said some officers did rush into the club and extracted survivors, and others eventually exchanged shots with the gunman.
According to the lawsuit, about 20 officers engaged the 1 shooter until he retreated to a restroom with hostages. Then the officers left the building.