Angel Colon, who survived the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June despite sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and a broken leg, took his first steps without assistance on Friday, a significant milestone for one of the most visible survivors of the tragedy.
Colon, who worked as a Zumba instructor before the shooting, can be seen taking steps across his kitchen without help, a broad smile on his face.
The 26-year-old has poured himself into his recovery, and was even seen dancing a few weeks ago at the annual Zumba Fitness Instruction Convention. He was also featured on MTV’s True Life: We Are Orlando, which looked back at the June tragedy.
“Ahhhh, took my first steps all by myself,” Colon, who has been using a wheelchair since the shooting, captioned the video on Facebook. “So happy!”
Colon was shot multiple times – in his hip, legs and back – at Pulse, the gay nightclub where a lone gunman who pledged allegiance to ISIS opened fire on June 12.
Preparing to leave the club, Colon said he was hugging a friend when shots first rang out. “We just grabbed each other, we started running and, unfortunately, I was shot about three times in my leg, so I had fallen down,” he said during a press conference.
“I tried to get back up, but everyone started running everywhere. I got trampled over and I shattered and broke my bones in my left leg,” Colon continued. “So by this time, I couldn’t walk at all.”
After watching the gunman, Omar Siddiqui Mateen, shoot the woman next to him on the floor, Colon said he thought, “I’m next, I’m dead.”
“So, I don’t know how, but by the glory of God, he shoots towards my head but it hits my hand. And then he shoots me again and he hits the side of my hip.”
Colon profusely thanked his doctors, saying, “I will love you guys forever.”
Of the gunman, he said: “This person had to be heartless, ruthless. I don’t know how you could do something like this … just seeing all these bodies everywhere, there’s no way, I don’t know how.”