One account from a young woman said the shooter, Omar Mateen, had a surprising message for Black people during his bloody attack.
In the video, Patience Carter, 20, can be seen with hospital bands still on her wrist as she explains she was amongst those hiding in the bathroom, along with her best friend, Tiara Parker, 20, and Parker’s cousin, Akyra Murray, 18, when the attack began.
Carter lay down in the stall, with others falling on top of her. She had sustained a shot in both legs, while Parker was shot in the side. Murray was also injured with a shot to the arm. Tragically, Murray didn’t make it.
“Bodies were piled on top of each other on the toilet seat,” Carter said. “There were handprints on everything, and blood.”
As Carter lay on the floor, she looked over to see Parker holding her lifeless cousin in her arms.
She says that Mateen made numerous statements in the bathroom, striking up conversation multiple times. From her account, he was frustrated that people were using their phones and demanded people turn them off. He told Parker and others that he did not “have a problem with Black people,” that he thought they “have suffered enough,” and he was “doing this to get America to stop bombing his country.”
Carter was ready to die.
“I made peace with God within myself. I said, ‘God, if this is how I have to go, please take me, I just don’t want any more shots … I didn’t want to feel any more pain,” she said.
Police eventually hauled Carter and Parker into an ambulance. They are both in stable condition.
She says she is heavily burdened with guilt because her life was spared, while others were not. She expressed herself through poetry as a way to cope.