ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS News) – A U.S. Marine is being credited for saving dozens of people at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning. He says he recognized the sound of the military-style AR-15 when Omar Mateen opened fire in the club.
Imran Yousef is a bouncer at the nightclub. He never saw the gunman, but was making his rounds after last call at the bar. He says he barely missed coming face-to-face with Mateen.
Yousuf, a 24-year-old Hindu, served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan. On Saturday night, the combat zone followed him to Orlando.
He ended up saving dozens of lives.
“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,” he said. “Everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone.”
He knew there was a door just beyond his reach, but someone had to unlatch it so everyone could run to safety.
“And I’m screaming ‘Open the door! Open the door!’ And no one is moving because they are scared,” he explained. “There was only one choice. Either we all stay there and we all die, or I could take the chance, and I jumped over to open that latch a we got everyone that we can out of there.”
He saved probably 60-70 people with his actions.
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