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Pulse Survivor Takes First Unassisted Steps Since Orlando Shooting

Pulse Survivor Takes First Unassisted Steps Since Orlando Shooting


Angel Colon took his first steps in a video posted to Facebook.

Exactly two months after he survived the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, Angel Colon, one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting, walked unassisted for the first time since the Orlando attack.

Colon, who was told he might never walk again after being shot in the leg six times, posted a video of the milestone on his Facebook page August 12. "Ahhhh, took my first steps all by myself," the 26-year-old wrote. "So happy!"

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The Massachusetts native was trampled by club patrons fleeing the scene during the June 12 shooting, after a lone gunman opened fire on the Florida gay bar. During the multihour siege, 49 clubgoers were killed, while 53 more were injured. Most of those injured and killed were LGBT and Latino. Colon has been using a wheelchair since the tragedy.

Recalling the horrific violence, Colon knows he's lucky to even be alive.

"He shoots the girl next to me," he told reporters during a press conference two days after the shooting. "I'm thinking, I'm next, I'm dead."

It took a miracle to save his life: Colon was pulled to safety by Orlando police officer Omar Delgado. "I grabbed him and started dragging him," Delgado told the Today show. "Mind you, the floor is slippery, it's filled with alcohol and liquor, and there's blood everywhere."

The policeman added that it's been difficult to move on from the tragic events.

"You can't get that out of your head," Delgado said. "The smell of being in that club, it's hard to describe. The smell of death. The smell of gunpowder in the air. It's such a traumatic event."

Colon, who worked as a Zumba instructor before the attack, told the audience during a conference in July that it's the love and support of his community that has given him the hope he needs to make a full recovery. Seated in a chair, Colon even danced for the crowd.

"I have seen so much love from everyone, not only to me, but to the other victims, to the families," he said.

To assist Colon in his recovery, supporters have donated more than $17,000 -- out of a $20,000 goal -- to his GoFundMe page. Those funds will go toward paying medical bills and for physical therapy, which will help Colon to keep on walking.

Delgado, who says he considers Colon like a "brother," told Today is he optimistic about Colon's continued progress. "He's my hero," the officer said of the young man.

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