ORLANDO, Fla., (CelebrityAccess) Some of the surviving victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., have filed a federal lawsuit saying the city and police didn’t do enough to stop the shooter.
The filing comes nearly two years after an armed gunman stormed into the nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53. More than 35 of the victims are plaintiffs in the lawsuit and accuse the city and police officers violated the Constitutional rights of those injured and killed in the June 12, 2016, shooting and three-hour standoff, according to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit claims police should have more aggressively confronted the shooter and names Orlando Police Department Officer Adam Gruler who worked at the nightclub that evening and “abandoned his post.” During that time, the shooter walked into the club, looked around, and returned to his car to get weapons, according to the suit.
Gruler fired at the shooter from outside the nightclub and was hailed as a hero, even recently being invited to be a guest at the State of the Union Address.
The suit also will list 30 unnamed officers for either not stopping the shooter sooner or for taking uninjured witnesses into the Orlando police headquarters for interviews, according to the AP.
“I believe victims of the Pulse shooting deserve better. We deserved better,” victim Keinon Carter said during the news conference Thursday. “We deserved to be rescued sooner by law enforcement.”
The suit also claims police officers would not allow survivors to use their phones after they had secured the club.
“The detainees were not permitted to use their phones, contact their loved ones, or leave. They were detained as though they were criminals, by these defendants despite there being not a shred of evidence nor any lawful basis to suspect that any of the detainees had committed a crime,” attorneys wrote in the court document.
The City of Orlando and the police department said in a statement they could not comment on the substance of the litigation:
“On the morning of June 12, 2016, federal, state and local law enforcement officers and first responders put themselves in harm’s way to save as many lives as possible. Our first responders are committed to the safety of this community, and they stand ready to protect and serve.”