Pulse shooting survivor gives new perspective on gun laws

Jeff Rodriguez says shooting has given him new focus on political issues

ORLANDO, Fla. – Pulse shooting survivor Jeff Rodriguez spent two months in the hospital after being shot in his leg, stomach and neck.

Rodriguez spoke in-depth with investigative reporter Eryka Washington, and said the shooting has given him a new focus on political issues.

Even though Rodriguez is pro-gun, he wants to see tougher gun laws to hopefully prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again. 

Just minutes after a picture was taken of Rodriguez and his friends, 49 people were killed and 53 injured inside Pulse night club. 

"We'll never forget this it will be with us till the day we die," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has had six surgeries and continues to fight, getting stronger every day, but it’s been an emotional journey.

"I’m still upset more than sad or depressed; I’m angry because I feel robbed, people’s lives were robbed, my friends' lives were robbed and those of us who survived were robbed, too, “said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez believes tougher gun laws should be in place.

"Everyone that is allowed to purchase a weapon should undergo some type of evaluation and background check," said Rodriguez.

"A lot of politicians are running for office. If the politicians are listening what needs to change? What would you say to them?" asked News 6 reporter Eryka Washington.

“A lot of people think because of what happened to me I’m going to be against guns. No … I’m pro guns. But should military weapons be allowed to be sold? I don't think that should be allowed to the public. Handguns yes, but military weapons are exactly that, for the military- leave them with the military," said Rodriguez.

Omar Mateen used an assault-style rifle in the Pulse shooting. Rodriguez said he struggles to understand how Mateen was able to buy a gun, since the FBI had previously investigated Mateen, although they said there wasn't evidence that he was connected to terrorism.

"How did that slip through the cracks? Why was this allowed to happen?” asked Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is still on the road to recovery. He has another surgery scheduled next month.

Rodriguez told News 6  that he was saved that night and is here for a reason, and maybe that reason is to fight for tougher, common-sense gun laws.