Man shot in club crawls over bodies to escape

Norman Casiano hid inside bathroom stall while gunman opened fire

By Mark Lehman - Reporter, Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man who was shot four times in the Orlando nightclub massacre said he crawled over bodies to get away from the gunman.

Norman Casiano, 26, was discharged from an Orlando hospital Monday, a day after a mass shooting that killed 49 people and injured at least 53 others.

Casiano said he was getting ready to leave Pulse early Sunday morning when the shooter, identified as Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire. He heard several shots and started crawling military-style into a crowded bathroom stall.

"I heard the first two gunshots, I automatically just threw myself down to the floor," said Casiano. "You hear the gunshots getting closer and closer."

"Once I got in there, everyone ducked and it got quiet," Casiano said.

Casiano said one man collapsed in front of the stall door, bleeding and begging to come inside.

"The door wouldn't open because there's bodies piled up," Casiano said.

Casiano said he was trying to comfort the man, but it was too late. Seconds later, Casiano said, the gunman entered the bathroom and shot him one last time.

The scariest part, Casiano recalled, was that the shooter didn't say anything.

"He laughed, and as he's laughing, that's when he fires through the whole front of the stall," Casiano said, adding that the images and horrific sounds from the night are still haunting him. "One of the first things I hear when I close my eyes are guns, bullets hitting the floor and that laugh."

Casiano was shot twice in the back. He was one of several seen carried to the hospital as the chaotic scene unfolded at Pulse.

Mateen was killed in a gun battle with police.

Two victims still in the hospital are expected to speak Tuesday morning, as well as the surgeons from ORMC.

 

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