It’s been alleged that the Islamic shooter at the Orlando massacre had been there several times before. He was likely scouting the place as a target. One of the things he would have noticed: the limited exits. The shooter is said to have entered at the main entrance where the green circle is (above). The blue arrows point to the exits. The heavy black blobs on the outer perimeter of the diagram are the entrances and exits.
The main entrances are down at the bottom of the diagram. The main entrances go into the foyer with the green circle. There’s an exit, separated by a short wall, very close to it on the left. A window is directly below the blue arrow tip. The entrances are to the small foyer, with only one door on the left leading inside.
A shooter located at the bottom center blue arrow commands all exits and entrances. The top blue arrow points to the back exit.
Some customers escaped this way, but that exit was then blocked by a fleeing patron. He feared the shooter would come out and shoot people who were blocked by exiting the alley by a fence.
The blue arrow on the right points to the patio exit. Some escaped out that exit. Those who fled to the bathrooms (left side of the diagram) were trapped, with no way out. Note the extremely short distances. The furthest distance that the shooter could see a patron would have been about 84 ft. Most would have been much closer.
This harrowing account has been given by someone who claimed to be the only survivor from one of the bathrooms. “Norman” related his account to a woman friend. From the nypost.com:
“[Norman] was in a bathroom stall with 30 other people, and those 30 other people are deceased. He is the only one that lived,” she said . . .
“When he laughed, he took his gun and sprayed under the bathroom stall and on top of the bathroom stall, so then the bodies started collapsing and blood was going everywhere in the handicapped stall, 30 people squished in there getting shot,” Ventura said.
“He was laughing like he was making fun of the victims.”
“Then Norman had to climb over the bodies to try to climb on top,” she continued. “He said it was just horrific. While he was getting shot, he felt the shots coming into his skin, he felt the warmth of it and he thought he was going to die.”
If the account is correct, most of the deaths occurred in the bathrooms where people were reportedly held and had nowhere to run. Jamming people into a handicapped stall only made it worse. When you enter a venue, look for the exits and remember where they are. If you have to flee, go to an exit. Don’t get trapped in a dead end.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.