Orlando nightclub shooting survivor recalls carnage – New York Daily News

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Marrero said he stuck his head under a nightclub couch in a desperate attempt to protect himself.

“I covered myself and laid on the ground for at least 30 minutes not trying to make any sudden movements,” he said. “I was just trying to play dead.”

The makeshift barricade didn’t completely protect Marrero: Mateen shot him in his lower back and left arm. As Marrero lay wounded on the group, the sounds of screaming and more gunfire continued to fill the club.

Fourty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured inside Pulse nightclub.

Fourty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured inside Pulse nightclub.

(Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

“The smell of the place was horrible — like gunpowder — and you just smelled death in the air,” he said.

Nearly a week after the worst mass shooting in American history, a survivor of the Orlando nightclub terror attack is still haunted by the sickening smell of the carnage.

“The other night I woke up, and for some reason I started smelling the gunpowder,” Felipe Marrero told the Associated Press in an interview from his hospital bed at Orlando Regional Medical Center. “It’s the same smell that was in the club that night.”

The 30-year-old said he was just about to leave Pulse nightclub around 2 a.m. Sunday when he heard the first shots ring out.

Terrorist Omar Mateen stormed the gay bar armed with an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun. He killed 49 people inside and injured over 50 more before he was shot and killed in a gunfight with cops.

Pulse survivor: Cops took too long to stop shooter Omar Mateen

Felipe Marrero (l.) was injured in the Orlando nightclub shooting last week.

(AP)

Marrero said he stuck his head under a nightclub couch in a desperate attempt to protect himself.

“I covered myself and laid on the ground for at least 30 minutes not trying to make any sudden movements,” he said. “I was just trying to play dead.”

The makeshift barricade didn’t completely protect Marrero: Mateen shot him in his lower back and left arm. As Marrero lay wounded on the group, the sounds of screaming and more gunfire continued to fill the club.

Fourty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured inside Pulse nightclub.

Fourty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured inside Pulse nightclub.

(Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

“The smell of the place was horrible — like gunpowder — and you just smelled death in the air,” he said.

Omar Mateen searched ‘Pulse Orlando’ on Facebook during shooting

A police officer eventually dragged the bleeding Marrero to safety. The next day, lying in his hospital bed at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Marrero says he saw Mateen’s picture on television and immediately recognized him.

“I said ‘This guy was right next to me buying a drink,'” Marrero said.

Gunman Omar Mateen was shot and killed by police.

Gunman Omar Mateen was shot and killed by police.

(Myspace)

His account of Mateen’s whereabouts in the hours before the shooting could not immediately be verified.

Marrero has had multiple surgeries and started physical therapy to try to regain the use of his arm.

Meanwhile, the shock among Orlando residents was turning to grief as families buried their loved ones in cemeteries across the city. With more funerals planned in coming days, the city adorned with “Orlando Strong” banners has been coming together to support each other.

“It’s amazing me how the community is getting so close,” said Monica Roggiero, outside the funeral of shooting victim Anthony Luis Laureano Disla.

Orlando nightclub shooter disciplined dozens of times in school

With News Wire Services

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