A Florida officer, who was declared a hero after saving the life of Pulse Nightclub shooting victim Angel Colon — who was hit several times — is now being let go from the police force at the end of the month. Omar Delgado, a member of the Eatonville Police Department, currently suffers from post-traumatic stress following the attack. He was among the first to respond to last year’s massacre at the gay club in Orlando, where Omar Mateen opened fire on clubgoers, taking the lives of 49 people.
This dismissal has led Delgado and the man he saved to speak out against the Eatonville PD, where he served for more than nine years. “I needed help,” said Delgado to WFTV in Orlando. “And I guess I’m being punished because I asked for help.”
The officer said the police department found him unfit for duty and informed him that his last day on the job would be Dec. 31. This decision comes six months before he’d be eligible for his full pension. “They can’t find it in their hearts to find six more months,” he said. “Just so I can be vested and then just move on with my life.”
Colon, who suffered multiple gunshots wounds and a broken leg, attended a town meeting on Dec. 5 to defend his savior. “God sent him, and he was my hero that night,” Colon told WFTV. “Without him, who knows if I would have stayed inside that club and not made it out?”
At the meeting, the Eatonville Town Council voted to fund sick days for Delgado’s accrued time off before his departure from the force. The 45-year-old had returned to duty a few months after and has been on light duty since.
“We have reached an agreement with Officer Delgado,” Eatonville Police Chief Joseph Jenkins told the news station via phone. “We will be terminating his employment on Dec. 31. There are circumstances I can’t go into because of protected information.”
“I don’t need to be a police officer with my gun belt and so forth to do those little tasks,” Delgado told the media before Tuesday’s meeting. “Could they have let me do that for six more months? That’s the debate.”