This last weekend, a bigot stormed into a gay nightclub and opened fire with an AR-15, taking 49 innocent lives and wounding 53 others. However, that death toll would have been greater had it not been for a war veteran who worked as a bouncer at the club.
Imran Yousuf, 24, saved a lot of lives that night. It was just after last call that Mr. Yousuf almost came face-to-face with the shooter, according to CBS News.
Yousuf, a Hindu, served as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan but on Saturday night, the Pulse nightclub turned into a battlefield. Here on American soil. Yousuf saved dozens of lives during that blood-soaked night.
“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,” Yousuf recalled. “Everyone froze. I’m here in the back and I saw people start pouring into the back hallway, and they just sardine pack everyone.”
Just beyond the crowd of panicked people, Yousuf knew there was a door but it had to be unlatched.
“And I’m screaming ‘Open the door! Open the door!’ And no one is moving because they are scared,” he said. “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 and we got everyone that we can out of there.”
A lot of people made their way to safety because of Yousef’s actions.
“Probably over 60, 70,” he said. “As soon as people found that door was open they kept pouring out and after that we just ran.”
“I wish I could have saved more to be honest,” he said with tears in his eyes. “There are a lot of people that are dead …there are a lot of people that are dead.”
“There are a lot of people naming me a hero and as a former Marine and Afghan veteran I honestly believe I reacted by instinct,” he wrote on Monday, according to the Marine Corps Times. “I have lost a few of my friends that night which I am just finding out about right now and while it might seem that my actions are heroic I decided that the others around me needed to be saved as well and so I just reacted.”
60 to 70 more lives could have been taken if this young man hadn’t been brave enough to take action. We don’t know if this young man of apparent Middle Eastern descent is gay or not. It shouldn’t really matter, but to many Conservatives, it would.
Yousef’s military awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Korean Defense Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
Image via Screen capture.