Four brave men and women who were at the Pulse nightclub during the early hours of June 12 will soon be featured during a special True Life edition entitled We Are Orlando. But before these courageous club-goers tell their emotional stories during the installment — set to premiere on August 15 — here's some context about their unique tales of survival, along with three sneak peeks from the episode:
Tony was shot four times during the horrific event, including once in the back. The Orlando resident faces a long journey ahead as he heals from his physical wounds, but he's also struggling to accept the loss of his best friend Luis Vielma. As Tony starts the road to recovery, he wants to meet Angel Colon, who was shot and fell to the floor near Tony at the scene of the attack. Tony hopes that talking with Angel will help him come to terms with the guilt he feels about being forced to leave Angel behind as he crawled out of the club to safety.
Patience Carter and Tiara Parker
The two young women were in town visiting from Philadelphia — and they decided, along with Tiara’s cousin Akyra, to visit the popular hot spot. During the rampage, the trio hid in a bathroom but were eventually discovered by the shooter. He then trapped them in that room with him during his three-hour standoff with the police. Tiara and Patience were saved when the SWAT team breached the walls and killed the mass murderer, but Akyra didn’t survive. According to Tiara, her cousin was unconscious but alive when they were separated during the chaos of their rescue. Not knowing exactly when or why Akyra ultimately died is eating away at Patience and Tiara as well as their families. Patience and Tiara are now starting therapy to deal with their unspeakable loss and attempting to move forward.
During the chaos, Joshua fled over the back wall and hid behind a car, where he heard a stranger crying out for help. The injured man was Rodney Sumter, a bartender at the club and father of two, who had been shot multiple times. Joshua made a tourniquet out of his shirt to stop the bleeding in both of Rodney’s arms and brought Rodney to safety. A police officer then instructed Josh to lie down in the back of his car with Rodney on top of him and squeeze his back to constrict the blood from a third wound as they drove to the hospital, where the two men were separated before Josh had a chance to learn Rodney’s full name. After a post on his Facebook account went viral, Rodney’s family got in touch with Josh and told him the good news that Rodney had survived. Rodney is now eager to meet Josh to thank him for saving his life that night.