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Marine Corps veteran with roots in India saved dozens of lives during Orlando nightclub shooting

New York native Imran Yousuf

Orlando, June 16 (UITV)- A U.S. Marine Corps veteran with roots in India saved the lives of more than 60 people on early June 12 morning, as a gunman Omar Mateen stormed the Pulse night-club in Orlando, killing 50 people and injuring more than 53 others.

New York native Imran Yousuf who served in Afghanistan, had started to work at Pulse, a gay night-club, just one months before the attack, the worst incident of mass violence in U.S. history, which was carried out by a man who reportedly called 911 to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Yousuf knew from working at the night-club that there was a back door that would lead out to safety. He ran towards the locked door that people had huddled around, too terrified to move. “I kept screaming, ‘open the door, open the door,’ but nobody moved. There was only one choice – 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.” said Yousuf.

Yousuf served as an engineer equipment electrical system technician in the Marine Corps from June 2010 to May 2016, according to service officials. He was last assigned to 3rd Marine Logistic Group.

The Yousufs emigrated from India to Guyana four generations ago. Imran Yousuf’s paternal grandfather is Muslim, and his grandmother is Hindu, so his father Rasheed ia a mix of both ethnicities.

Yousuf was not immediately available to comment on Tuesday morning. He wrote on his Facebook page June 13: “There are a lot of people naming me a hero. As a former Marine and Afghan veteran I honestly believe I reacted by instinct.”

“I have lost a few of my friends that night which I am just finding out about right now and 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.” he wrote on Monday.