The Orlando Police Department released 11 hours of new body camera footage on Wednesday from inside the Pulse nightclub on the night of the worst mass shooting in modern American history, almost one year ago.
The footage contains dramatic scenes of chaos and carnage as first responders tried to save the wounded and hunt down the shooter, who killed 49 people in the name of the Islamic State.
In a series of interviews before the release of the footage, broadcast Wednesday on “World News Tonight With David Muir” and “Nightline,” first responders and survivors told ABC News that the memories of that night and the emotions stirred by them are still raw.
“Several of us commented that this was going to change the city forever,” said Roger Brennan, the police department’s commander on the scene, “and probably change what we do forever.”
By early Saturday, June 12, it had already been a violent weekend in Orlando. Little more than 24 hours earlier, a young singer named Christina Grimmie was shot and killed while signing autographs for fans after her performance at the nearby Plaza Live theater.
That Saturday, Pulse, a popular spot for the city’s gay community, was packed with patrons, many of them young revelers eager to forget the previous night’s tragedy.
“We were all in a great mood,” said Jahqui Sevilla, a young woman who was at the club with friends. “We were in the club dancing. It was, like, one of the best nights I had — that turned into the worst day of my life.”
Just after 2:00 a.m., a man named Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American-born son of Afghan immigrants, entered the club, armed with a military-style assault rifle, and opened fire. A security guard from Port St. Lucie, Florida, he was an angry and troubled man with a history of violence and failure.
An off-duty police detective…