An Orlando man who was enjoying a night out at Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning is being lauded as a hero after reportedly aiding and assisting one of the many shooting victims during the attack that killed 49 and wounded scores more.
Joshua McGill, whose Facebook page indicates that he is a nursing student at Valencia College, told ABC News that he was at the popular gay nightclub with roommates when he heard shots ring out at around 2 a.m. That's when he escaped out the back exit.
It was while taking cover behind a car that McGill reports that he noticed a man — later identified as bartender and father of two Rodney Sumter — limping away from the scene, apparently in shock. McGill grabbed Sumter and pulled him behind the cover of the parked car.
McGill took to Facebook to describe his actions.
Sumter had been shot three times.
McGill made a quick assessment once behind cover. Sumter told McGill that he had been shot. "That's when I noticed he had been shot once in each arm," McGill told ABC News. "I took it upon myself to let him know that (I was) going to try to stop the bleeding. I took my shirt off, tied it around his first initial gunshot wound on his left arm. I took his shirt off, tied it around his other arm where the other gunshot wound was."
As McGill led Sumter through the parking lot, weaving to avoid being hit by gunfire, he says he noticed that Sumter had a third gunshot wound in his upper back and immediately began applying pressure to try to stop the bleeding.
He was eventually able to get Sumter to a police car where he maintained pressure on the wound while police rushed the pair to an Orlando hospital. Sumter underwent surgery this morning, according to McGill.
"I felt God put me at the club and made me stay behind to help a complete stranger," he wrote on Facebook.
McGill's selfless actions under fire have left him overwhelmed by media attention. He posted this video message on Facebook Live.
Our thoughts are with Rodney Sumter and all of those affected by this violence.
While McGill is a nursing student, there are plenty of opportunities to learn the kind of basic first aid that will enable you to assist others in an emergency. Visit the American Red Cross for more details and for the preparation and mindset that can help you help others.
In the coming days, we will be telling more stories of heroism that emerge from this tragedy.