• First responders recognized for Pulse nightclub attack response

    By: Len Kiese , WFTV Web Staff


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando police Chief John Mina on Thursday morning honored Orlando police officers and officers from other agencies who responded to the Pulse nightclub massacre.

    Three hundred first responders from local, state and federal agencies were recognized during a ceremony at the Orlando Police Department headquarters.

    For Orlando police officer James Hyland, the memories from that night come in fragments.

    "It's all very... it hasn't hit me. Even a year after, it hasn't hit me to this day," Hyland said.

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    Everyone from SWAT team members to business owners were recognized for the danger they faced.

    Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured dozens more when he carried out his attack last June. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group during the standoff on June 12.

    Read: Pulse nightclub owner details vision for permanent memorial, museum at site

    Mina said he wanted to recognize the dozens of other law enforcement agencies who responded and the businesses and organizations that assisted officers in the hours and days after.

    © 2018 Cox Media Group.
    © 2018 Cox Media Group.

    "In the midst of that night, there were so many acts of bravery and courage," Mina said. "And in the weeks and months that followed, there were acts of kindness and compassion.”

    During the ceremony, the night of June 12 was recounted hour by hour, from the moment police first received a 911 call until the moment it was announced that the shooter was killed.

    Photos: Victims of Pulse nightclub

    “We're never going to forget that horrific day," Mina said.

    Officers received awards of valor, merit, commendation or the chief's special award.

    "We're very concerned moving forward on the health and well-being of our officers, and that's really our No. 1 priority," Mina said.

    Read: Full coverage of Pulse nightclub attack

    Read: Full coverage of Pulse nightclub attack

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