ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A sales clerk from 7-Eleven is being hailed a hero, after helping dozens of people who ran from the Pulse Orlando nightclub during the shooting massacre. The store is located across the way on Orange Avenue.
"He come in and started screaming, 'They're shooting up the club! They're shooting up the club!'" explained 42-year-old Patricia Kerr. She was working the nightshift at the store at the time. She said people were running into the store for help. "Ten minutes later, this young man came in with his shirt pulled up. He had a bullet wound in his side and one in his arm, and he was all hysterical saying someone was in the club shooting."
As Kerr tried calling 911, more victims ran inside. "Then, I had a boy come in who was shot in the ankle. I'm trying to call 911 trying to get through, because the line was busy."
Finally, she was able to get through to a dispatcher who told her what to do until units arrived. "I'm still with the two shot by the bathroom. So finally, I got them to sit down and calm down," she said. "I got the other boy that was shot in the ankle -- he said he wasn't waiting for the paramedics, because they weren't sending anyone till the scene was secure -- we took some paper towels and wrapped up his ankle and took some packaging tape and wrapped up that, and he walked to the hospital."
When Kerr thought it was safe, she stepped outside as paramedics showed up. "I saw people outside with graze wounds. I'm outside trying to give them alcohol pads and napkins, trying to cover it up while they're setting up triage."
As she was ready to leave, officers had to step in to keep her safe. "As soon as I walked out the door, the man started shooting again, and they pushed me. They started pushing me down the walkway."
She said she will never forget the sound of the bullets being fired. "It sounded like a machine gun. You heard 20 to 30 rounds pop off, and 'Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!' and it would stop and 'Bang! Bang! Bang!' again, and it would stop for a while."
Kerr tells us her late father was in the service and taught her to help others if they're injured. At home, she said her cats keep her calm when she thinks about what happened. "I don't feel like a hero. I just feel like a person that helped another person who needed help. I've had a couple of people come back looking for me to try to thank me for what I did, and that's enough for me, to know that they lived."
Kerr said she spent $8 of her own money buying water for officers during the shooting. She said the store also donated several cases after that.