A police officer suffering from PTSD due to the Pulse massacre has been fired.
Omar Delgado, 45, was dismissed from from the Eatonville police force last week just six months before he could collect his full pension. He claims it was done because he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Delgado was one of the first to respond to the Pusle nightclub massacre, which left 49 people dead, and was credited with saving a man named Angel Colon after he had been shot six times.
He returned to patrol duty for several months after the shooting, but later withdrew and has been working a desk job for the last eight months.
However, the Eatonville Town Council voted unanimously to pay him $ 1,200 before taxes in accrued sick time and designated December 31 his last day of work.
The married father of three said the reality of his dismissal only hit him when watching a local news story about it with his daughter.
Speaking to NBC News, he said: “My mouth dropped, and she asked me why am I not going to be a police officer anymore. I had to tell her it was because I’m sick. It’s a challenge to try and explain something like that to a 9-year-old and a 10-year-old.”
Since the shooting, Delgado has regularly woken up screaming after having the same nightmare about the massacre ,and even with medication, he can only sleep between three and five hours each night.
He’s also had trouble visiting public places such as bars, restaurants or anywhere with crowds and lives in constant fear that an event similar to the Pulse shooting will occur again.
“I just don’t live my life the way I did before what happened at Pulse. I feel bad, and I can see myself deteriorating away because I don’t do the things I enjoyed doing before. I’d rather be home – I’d rather stay in my room.”
After learning of his dismissal, Delgado revealed he’s received support from friends, family and community members.
A GoFundMe account that was created on his behalf has amassed over $ 35,000 and, though he’s grateful for the support, he wishes he still had his job.