A city police officer acting as a security guard didn’t do his job and more than two dozen of his colleagues failed in their duties or violated the civil rights of surviving victims after the 2016 Orlando, Florida, nightclub massacre, according to a new federal lawsuit.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, was shot dead by police after killing 49 people and wounding 58 at Pulse nightclub in what was then the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Orlando police officer Adam Gruler, according to court papers filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, “was at Pulse at all pertinent times and was charged with providing security to Pulse. Instead, he abandoned his post, thereby allowing [the] shooter to not only enter the club once to scout out the area and make sure nobody could stop him, but to then leave Pulse, retrieve his firearms, and return to execute his sinister plan to kill people.”
The lawsuit also lists 30 unidentified Orlando police officers who the plaintiffs allege either remained outside the nightclub while the shooting occurred or held witnesses against their will after they fled the massacre. The city of Orlando is listed as an additional defendant.
“While people, unarmed, innocent were inside a club getting absolutely massacred by a crazed gunman there were a bunch of people … with guns, with the training and capability to take that shooter out,” Solomon Radner, attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, told ABC News.
“Instead of doing their job, they worried about themselves, they stayed outside, they worried only about their own safety, knowing that people were literally getting mowed down by the dozens just a few feet away.”
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