By Vivian Kuo
(CNN) — When Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call for emergency backup at Pulse nightclub on the night of June 12, they encountered a harrowing scene:
The unrelenting clap of gunshots.
People drenched in blood lying in the parking lot.
A stream of gunshot victims fleeing the chaos inside the club.
Among the first to arrive at the Orlando, Florida, club after the rampage began, the deputies help paint a grim picture of what it was like to respond to the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Here are a few snippets from their incident reports, in their own words:
Deputy Sergio Uribe
“We were informed through dispatch an [Orlando police] officer was not responding to their radio after calling, ‘Shots fired!’ Several OCSO units arrived on scene and they advised over the radio gunfire was still being heard inside the venue. While the deputies were on scene they informed dispatch there were multiple victims in the immediate area who were seriously injured with gunshot wounds. More OCSO and OPD units responded to the area and subsequently advised the incident was an ‘active shooter.’ ”
Deputy Gustavo Pizzarello
“Upon approaching the club I heard multiple gunshots coming from inside the club. I observed individuals running out of the club covered in blood, with gunshot wounds, and many more in the parking lot, also with gunshot wounds.”
Deputy Steven Shock
“Upon arrival, I observed numerous subjects running from the club in a panic. I observed several subjects lying on the ground near the club that appeared to have been injured by gunfire. Fearing the shooter to still be inside, I made contact with several Orlando Police Department officers and walked toward the northwest corner of the club. I then took a defensive position with these officers and maintained visual contact with an open doorway on the west side of the club.”
Deputy Raymond Torrellas
“The scene was chaotic as many of the victims had gunshot wounds and some who had been carried over appeared to be dead. I was tasked by an unknown Orlando Police corporal with scene security at the triage area and crowd control as lots of the victims and witnesses were hysterical. I, along with other officers and deputies with the same task, began separating the wounded by categories of levels of injuries to gain control of the scene.”
Deputy Johnerick Sanchez
“I assisted in evacuating victims out of the nightclub’s entrance. After the inner perimeter was relocated due to a possible improvised explosive device, I assisted in evacuating victims from the bathrooms and dressing room located on the west side of the club.”