Washington, June 16: While the world is talking about Omar Mateen, a US citizen of Afghan descent who massacred 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12 (Sunday), has equal focus been given on Imran Yousuf, a 24-year-old ex-Marine who worked as a bouncer in the ill-fated Pulse nightclub and saved as many as 70 lives?
Speaking to CBS News during an emotional interview, Yousuf regreted that he could not save more lives. "...there are a lot of people dead," he said.
Yousuf, who likely had walked past the killer as he did the rounds, identified the imminent danger as soon as the first gunshot was fired.
"The initial one was three or four (shots)," he said adding: "That was a shock. Three of four shots go off and you could tell it was a high calibre.
Imran Yousuf, a former Marine and a bouncer at Pulse, unlatched a door and saved dozens of lives. https://t.co/sqnlZ81fAV— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) June 14, 2016
Yousuf said the panic-stricken people rushed to the back hallway but the idea to open the locked door leading into the streets did nort dawn on anybody. He shouted at them to unlock the door but none could do the job.
Yousuf then himself jumped over to open the door and let people run for cover. He said around 60-70 people were in the corridor, looking for an escape route and he succeeded in letting them survive the night of terror.
Yousuf then returned to help the injured reach hospital.
The man had worked as an engineer equipment electrical systems technician in the Marine Corps for nearly six years, according to military sources. He was then deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. He left the service in May, after attaining the rsergeant rank.