Eatonville, FL – A police officer who was called a hero after he saved a victim at the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando has been fired.
On Monday, Eatonville Police Officer (EPD) Omar Delgado was notified that his employment with his police department would be terminated at the end of December.
Officer Delgado told WFTV that he believes he is being pushed out because of his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which he was diagnosed with after the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016.
He became a hero after he dragged Pulse shooting victim Angel Colon to safety in the midst of the massacre.
The Pulse mass shooting lasted almost four hours. Forty-nine people were murdered, and dozens of others were injured.
The shooter, Omar Mateen, was killed by Orlando police officers after they breached a wall with an armored vehicle, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Officer Delgado and the victim he saved met while Colon was recovering from being shot six times by Mateen.
“I was able to save Angel, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but now I suffer through my agony,” Officer Delgado told WFTV.
He said that he has suffered from PTSD for the last year and a half, and that he has nightmares and flashbacks.
“This has taken over myself, and there’s no remedy. I wish there was a magical pill I could take, but there isn’t,” he said.
Officer Delgado told Ray that an evaluation showed that he was unfit for duty, and the town will not allow him to stay employed by them on light duty.
“I guess I’m being punished, because I did cry for help,” Officer Delgado said.
No one from the town of Eatonville would comment on the reason for the hero officer’s firing, according to WFTV investigative reporter Karla Ray.
Ray obtained a town resolution that is being voted on at a town council meeting Tuesday night that addresses whether they will pay some of Officer Delgado’s accrued sick leave, according to WFTV.
The resolution also stated that Officer Delgado’s last day will be Dec. 31.
EPD’s chief deputy refused to comment on why Officer Delgado was being let go.
Ray said other agency officials told her, off camera, that the town resolution she’d obtained should not have included the officer’s name.
Officer Delgado has worked for the Eatonville Police Department for nine and a half years, which makes him just short of the tenure needed for retirement.
“What do I do now?” he asked. “I’ve been an officer almost 10 years, and it’s all I’ve loved and known how to do, and now that it’s foreseen that I can’t do that anymore it’s a shock to me.”
The department has about 12 police officers, and Officer Delgado said he thinks the agency cannot afford to keep an officer off the street.