Florida cop Omar Delgado, one of the first responders to the Pulse nightclub massacre, says he is losing his job because he now suffers from PTSD.
The Eatonville Police Department officer was hailed as a hero following the June 2016 shooting spree because he pulled people to safety from the carnage inside the LGBT venue.
He has since struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and is unable to do routine law enforcement work, he said.
Delgado has been assigned to light desk duty for the last eight months, he said.
The department did not immediately return a message left Tuesday by InsideEdition.com. A spokesperson told CBS affiliate WKMG that the town of Eatonville had terminated Salgado’s employment effective Dec. 31, but declined to offer any further information.
“Due to my PTSD and my emotional state… obviously, I can’t do police work anymore,” Delgado told the station.
Attorney Paolo Longo says his client has been told by his medical team that “because of his PTSD, he shouldn’t be a police officer anymore.”
Longo told InsideEdition.com Tuesday that Delgado’s pension will be fully vested next year, and the lawyer questions why the city is now cutting ties with Delgado.
“Why let him work light duty for eight months and then do something now?” Longo said. The attorney said he and his client are waiting to see what town officials do next.
The 45-year-old said he has been haunted by images from night Omar Mateen opened fire inside the club, killing 49 customers and wounding 53 others.
He remembers walking into the darkened facility and hearing dozens of cell phones ringing and seeing bodies littering the floor and piled on top of each other.
Delgado hauled as many of the wounded as he could, including Angel Colon, who was shot six times and couldn’t walk. The officer dragged Colon to safety, across the bloody barroom as the gunman continued firing. Mateen was later killed after a three-hour standoff with authorities.
“I came back physically, but not mentally,” Delgado said.
After the mass shooting, the worst in U.S. history at the time, Delgado was derailed by the sound of a ringing cellphone, he told interviewers, and suffered bouts of uncontrollable weeping.
He was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.
“Now it’s all going away in two or three weeks,” he said of his dismissal.
“This holiday is going to be a rough one,” he said. “What we witnessed and saw, no man should have ever seen that.”