More Than One Year After The Pulse Nightclub Shooting, Survivor Angel Colon Makes A Shocking Confession About The Gunman
More than one year later, Angel Colon, a Pulse nightclub shooting survivor, says he is no longer angry at the man who nearly took his life.
On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen walked into Pulse nightclub, a hot spot for the LGBTQ community in Orlando, and started shooting.
By the end of the night, Mateen had killed 49 people and seriously injured 53 others, according to PEOPLE.
Colon, now 26, was shot six times—in the hips, leg, and hands—though he miraculously made it out alive, despite watching as Mateen aimed the gun at his head.
“I thought I was going to die,” Colon told PEOPLE.
Though Colon has undergone three surgery and is finally in recovery, he explained that he has had a harder time healing emotionally after the heartbreaking shooting.
Somehow, Colon has managed to find peace in what happened more than a year after the attack.
“I’m just grateful to be here,” he said. “It’s basically a second chance in life. I’m young; I’m only 26 years old. I have a lot of goals that I can reach. I’m doing anything I can, and helping others as much as I can. I’m very, very grateful. There’s no reason to be bitter at all; no reason.”
For Colon, being reunited with his family was what helped him heal and let go of his anger.
“I can’t really explain the feeling I had when I saw them,” he said. “I almost never saw them again. You really do hug them tighter, you really do spend more time with them. I spend every day with my family now, I made my mom move in with me, so she’s with me every day. I was always close to my family, but the bond we have now, it’s even greater than we had before.”
As part of his long healing process, Colon now works with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Aside from his work to help stop gun violence, Colon says his faith has greatly helped him deal with the emotional pain that he endured after the tragic shooting.
“I grew up in church, learning to forgive to move forward,” he said. “In the beginning, I had anger inside of me. But I was like, in order to help myself, I can’t show them anger. I can’t show bitterness. I had to let it go. Holding things in can destroy your soul.”
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