Survivor: Orlando Shooter Wanted to Spare Black Victims

Patience Carter describes 'the worst night of our lives'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2016 6:46 PM CDT
Survivor: Orlando Shooter Wanted to Spare Black Victims
Patience Carter, a victim in the Pulse nightclub shooting, becomes emotional after giving her story during a news conference at Florida Hospital Orlando on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

In the waning minutes of the massacre at Pulse in Orlando, Omar Mateen stopped shooting to ask, "Are there any black people in here?" 20-year-old survivor Patience Carter tells CBS News. He reportedly added: "I don't have a problem with black people…You guys suffered enough." On Tuesday, Carter shared her memories of the shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people, including her 18-year-old friend, Akyra Murray. Carter, Murray, and Murray's cousin Tiara Parker were visiting Orlando from Philadelphia and went to Pulse on the recommendation of Google Maps, PBS reports. Parker had just called for an Uber to take them back to their hotel when the shooting started. “We went from having the time of our lives to the worst night of our lives in a matter of minutes,” Carter tells BuzzFeed.

Carter and Murray made it out of the club but went back for Parker and ended up hiding in a bathroom. Then Mateen came in and started killing people. Carter was shot in both legs. Murray was killed. “Bodies were piled on top of each other on the toilet seat,” she tells BuzzFeed. “There were handprints on everything, and blood.” Mateen demanded the victims' cellphones. Carter says Mateen killed three more people, including a person protecting her, just as police came through the wall. "If it wasn't for that person shielding me it would've been me shot," Carter tells CBS. Carter read a poem about her struggle with being a survivor during a press conference. “The guilt of being alive is heavy," PBS quotes Carter as saying in the poem. (More Pulse Orlando shooting stories.)

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