ORLANDO (CBS) — After two days of heartache and sadness, a moment of hope in Orlando, as a survivor of the Pulse nightclub massacre was wheeled into a news conference and met with a rousing round of applause.
Angel Colon told the world about the horrific scene inside the popular gay club when a gunman opened fire with an assault-type rifle, and took hostages as police responded to the attack.READ MORE: Two Simeon High School Students, Both 15, Killed In Shootings Four Hours Apart
Colon said he had been having a fun evening and began saying his goodbyes when he heard the chaos starting.
“I was shot about three times in my leg, so I had fallen down. I tried to get back up, but everyone started running everywhere. I got trampled over. I hear him come back, and he’s shooting everyone that’s already dead on the floor, and making sure they’re dead,” he said. “I look over and he shoots the girl next to me, and I’m just there laying down. I’m thinking ‘I’m next. I’m dead.’ So I don’t know how, but by the glory of God, he shoots towards my head, but it hits my hand, and then he shoots me again, and it hits the side of my hip.”
Colon said he was prepared to lay there motionless so the gunman wouldn’t know he was still alive.
He also expressed deep gratitude to the people who carried him away from the scene and thanked the hospital staff, saying “I will love you guys forever.”READ MORE: A Day After Plainfield Mom Told CBS 2 She Was Keeping Her Special-Needs Son At Home Because Of School Bus Driver Shortage And Long Commute, District 202 Contacts Her With Solutions
Doctors in Orlando also provided the latest numbers on injuries; 27 victims remained hospitalized Tuesday, six of them in critical condition. Eight victims were scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, and doctors warned the death toll could still rise.
As of Tuesday morning, at least 49 people had been killed in the attack at Pulse nightclub before the gunman was killed by police.
Surgeons said the emergency room was like a war zone after the shooting.
“I saw team members walking into work, crying, and I just couldn’t express … it’s hard to describe how you feel, but I know how they feel. When the task comes to hand, you just do what needs to be done,” Dr. Chadwick Smith said.MORE NEWS: R. Kelly Does Not Take Stand In New York Sex Trafficking Case
“Disasters are something that we plan for. All trauma centers around the world do this. You can never prepare adequately for an event such as this,” Dr. Michael Cheatham said.