Imran Yousuf, a former marine of Indian origin has been hailed as a hero for saving more than 60 lives during Sunday’s shooting massacre at an Orlando nightclub.
A Heroic Act 24 year old Yousuf who works as a bouncer at the club heard the first gunshot. His military experience fighting in Afghanistan helped save more than 60 people by opening the doors of a room which the panicked partygoers had locked themselves inside after the shooting began. As the nightclub froze in fear Imran jumped up and at a personal risk opened a back door allowing many people to escape. He told CBS News television that as panicked people streamed to the back of the hall, “I’m screaming ‘Open the door! Open the door!’ And no one is moving because they are scared.There was only one choice,” he added in the interview. “Either we all stay there and we all die, or I could take the chance, and I jumped over to open that latch and we got everyone that we can out of there.” Yousuf whose mother and grandmother are Hindus risked his life because he could have drawn the attention of the shooter. The CBS network reported that he cried as he said, “I wish I could have saved more to be honest. There are a lot of people that are dead”
Background Imran Yousef grew up in the town of Niskayuna and joined the Marine Corps soon after he finished high school at the age of 17 and served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Marine Corps Times said he had been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal during his service. Yousuf has been modest, brushing off the praises as a hero. Marine Corps Times newspaper reported on its web site that Yousuf posted on his Facebook page, “There are a lot of people naming me a hero and as a former Marine and Afghan veteran I honestly believe I reacted by instinct. While it might seem that my actions are heroic I decided that the others around me needed to be saved as well and so I just reacted.” The newspaper said that he just left the Marine Corps last month.
Imran Yousef. A true hero indeed.