87ºF

Survivor struggles weeks after the Pulse attack

Miguel Leiva was held hostage in a bathroom at the nightclub

photo

ORLANDO, Fla. – Weeks after the horrific events inside Pulse nightclub, survivors continue to tell their stories.

Miguel Leiva said that he was held hostage in a bathroom for several hours.

Leiva even filmed a cell phone video inside the bathroom of Pulse, showing them passing around a glass of water to people struggling to stay alive.

"There two girls that got shot close range. One girl-- half her face, like all this side of her face came off and I was next to her face. So we are sitting in this bathroom looking at all this stuff, and we are still trying to stay calm and get out of here," said Leiva.

Lieva said the shooter laughed while killing dozens of people in front of him. He said the suspect shot into the bathroom stall three different times during the first hour.

Leiva also said that policed used a robot to speak to them inside the club, loud enough that he believes the shooter could hear the instructions being given to hostages.

"We heard like a bottle cap drop and then they asked us how far away did that sound from us. So we were like, "It's like, 15 feet away.' He's like, 'OK. You are going to see the, I guess the remote control car the FBI and SWAT uses, and we just heard it bumping around, but it wasn't making it to where we were at," said Leiva.

Leiva said eventually the police robot made it to the bathroom stall. Then after several explosions, police were able to break an opening directly into the bathroom stall. Leiva said debris started to land on the people below, and leaking water and electrical pipes began to spark.

Leiva describes SWAT officers not entering through the hole in the wall, but instead instructing the survivors to attempt to climb out.

While helping one of the wounded, Leiva said the shooter appeared in the bathroom, shooting him in the leg.

"So it was literally like the last person stepped out of the hole and then he just emerged out of no where and started shooting. Like over the side of the stall? I think he might have kicked it open," said Leiva. "That's when the shooter came out from behind and started shooting at the SWAT team through the hole that the SWAT made. That's when the officer got shot in the helmet and I got shot in the my shin."

After being shot twice, Leiva said as a construction worker, he's been labeled as liability. He said that he isn't sure when he will receive assistance from the One Orlando Fund and his bills are piling up.

"It's all stressful. If they are saying a year. I mean, what do these people do in a year? What do all these people who got shot that had normal jobs, what do they do for a whole year?" asked Leiva. "It's a big big burden right now. Just trying to figure it out is stressful on its own."

Leiva said Orlando Health told him they would only cover 60 percent of his medical bills, and he does not have health insurance. He spent five nights in the hospital and expects to have another surgery on his leg to remove bullet fragments.

If you would like to help Leiva, you can donate to his GoFundMe account at. https://www.gofundme.com/miguel87