Community in mourning: FOX 17 reports in Orlando

Posted at 12:20 AM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 00:33:08-04

FOX 17's Josh Sidorowicz reports LIVE from Orlando just hours after the shooting. 

ORLANDO, Fla. — The stories of loss and heartbreak are numerous in Orlando in wake of the worst mass shooting ever to happen in the U.S. early Sunday morning.

Less than 24 hours after a gunman opened fire inside a busy Orlando gay nightclub, killing 50 and injuring more, those who escaped are now sharing their harrowing stories of survival.

FOX 17 traveled to Florida where a community, once synonymous with the happiest place on earth, is now the site of the deadliest terrorist attack since September 11, 2001.

One woman told reporters she shielded herself with bodies as the gunman fired rounds inside a bathroom. Another man said he crawled across the floor desperately trying to find an exit. Another who escaped the nightclub said three of his friends died in the shooting. All of them were members of the same softball league who were regulars at the Pulse Nightclub.

Brett Harvey said he lost three of his friends in the nightclub tragedy.

"I think a lot of people are just kind of reserved," Harvey said. " There's been a little information shared but a lot of people still digesting it, still regrouping in terms of living through that experience and I think for a lot of folks like myself, it hasn't hit home."

Harvey told reporters he is still waiting to learn the fate of his other friends. As of late Sunday night, many people were still waiting to hear back on the status of their loved ones.

"You really can't describe it, I mean you really can't especially all the waiting, finding out if your son's OK," said James Connell, father of a shooting victim.

"It's horrible I don't wish this on anybody. He was shot, I don't know how many times. I don't know if he's okay, it's a long process to understand, I mean everybody here's been good, but I mean it is a long process trying to find out his girlfriend was with him, she just got out of surgery but I haven't heard nothing about him yet."

Look for continuous coverage on FOX 17 with live reports on FOX 17 Morning News beginning at 6 a.m.