The Orlando terror attack was one of the deadliest terror attacks ever committed on American soil. During times of national tragedy mainstream media tends to focus on the deranged individuals that commit these atrocities against American values and the American people that hold them dear. The heroes that stand up against these forces of evil are often overlooked or ignored by media outlets chasing the “big story.” Because of this practice you may not have heard of Imran Yousuf. Yousuf is one of these heros, he is responsible for saving dozens of lives during the Orlando massacre.
Yousuf is a 24-year-old former Marine that was working as a bouncer at Pulse the night of the attack. Yousuf claims he never saw the gunman the night of the terror attack but was aware of the situation as soon as he heard the first few rounds being fired off. He said to CBS News:
“The initial one was three or four (shots). That was a shock. Three of four shots go off and you could tell it was a high caliber, everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone.”
Yousuf knew he had to act quickly. He saw patrons flooding to the back of the nightclub until they were “packed like sardines” with no escape route. Yousuf then led dozens of patrons down a back hallway to a door. Unfortunately, the door was locked and Yousuf needed to expose himself to the gunman to open the escape route. Yousuf said to CBS News:
“I’m just screaming ‘open the door, open the door,’ and no one’s moving because they’re scared, there was only one choice, either we all stay there and we all die or I could either take the chance to get shot, save everyone else.”
Thankfully, Yousuf was able to use the training he received during his tour in Afghanistan to remain calm, assess an escape plan and lead the patron to safety. Yousuf said that as soon as he opened the door approximately 60 to 70 patrons were able to escape. Unfortunately, not all the patrons were able to escape.
Despite his heroic effort and the fact that Yousuf saved dozens of lives he couldn’t help but tear up during his interview because of all the lives lost. Yousuf told CBS News with tears in his eyes:
“I wish I could save more, to be honest, There’s a lot of people that are dead… There’s a lot of people that are dead.”