Akyra Murray, 18, was celebrating her high school graduation with her cousin and a friend at the Pulse nightclub, when she became the youngest victim of the latest Islamic terrorist attack.
She might have been saved if only police could have stormed the building sooner. Instead, she bled to death hiding in a bathroom stall after being shot in the arm and calling her parents for help, reported The Daily Mail. Her cousin, Tiara Parker, and friend Patience Carter survived, and are still hospitalized.
Less than a week before, Murray had graduated third in her high school class, and was to play college basketball at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. The girls were on vacation in Orlando with Murray’s family, and had asked to go to the club that night for a girls’ night out. Murray’s parents had reluctantly dropped them off there.
When the shooting began in the club, Murray and Carter quickly made it out safely together, then they realized Parker hadn’t gotten out. They both went back inside to find her, then the three girls hid together with some other men in a handicapped bathroom stall. Carter said the gunman, Omar Mateen, followed them into the bathroom and unleashed a round of bullets, first striking the man who had closed the door to their stall. Carter was shot in the leg, Murray was shot in the arm, and Parker was shot as well.
Carter said Mateen did return later and asked if there were any black people hiding in their stall. One girl answered yes, and he said, “I don’t have a problem with black people. This is about my country. You guys suffered enough.” Later, he came back and executed the man who was shielding her body.
Murray texted her parents to tell them she was shot in the arm, then she called them saying she was losing a lot of blood and to come pick her up. Her mother, Natalie Murray, said her daughter was screaming, frantically, saying she was losing blood. For the next three hours, Akyra Murray slowly bled to death. By the time police stormed the building, it was too late for her. Her parents searched hospitals for 27 hours before they finally received the call that she was among the 49 victims who didn’t make it.
Carter is feeling tremendous guilt for ever letting Murray go back inside after they had made it out safely, and her father wrote on Facebook, “I’m falling apart,” over guilt that he gave in to his daughter’s request to go to the club that night.
Others are asking the question, why did the SWAT team wait so many hours before they stormed into the building and took out the gunman?
Patience Carter, 20, sobs on Tuesday as she describes her survivor’s guilt. Carter was with Murray when she died.
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