Nurse of the Week: Nursing Student Joshua McGill Saves Man’s Life While Escaping from Scene of Mass Shooting at Orlando Nightclub
Joshua McGill, a 26-year-old nursing student at Valencia College, was attempting to escape the chaos that ensued when a mass shooting broke at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. McGill was at the nightclub with his roommates when the sound of gunshots at 2 AM caused them to run to the club’s back exit. He hopped a fence at the back of the club’s patio and was hiding safely beneath a parked SUV in the back lot when he heard someone making noise nearby and realized it was a victim of the shooting who was limping through the parking lot.
McGill ran to help the victim who he later learned was Rodney Sumter, a 27-year-old bartender at the club. When McGill realized that Sumter had gunshot wounds in each arm as well as his back, he used the skills he had learned in nursing school and took off his own shirt to tie it around the wound on Rodney’s left arm and then took off Rodney’s shirt to create another makeshift tourniquet over the gunshot wound on the right arm.
There were no ambulances available on the scene yet, but as soon as McGill found a brief moment of safety, he ran across the street, taking Rodney with him to a safety parameter that had been set up by the police. Having no ambulances yet available, the police officers instructed McGill to lay down in the back of a patrol car with Sumter on top of him so that he could squeeze Sumter’s back to control blood loss from the gunshot wound there. Both of them were driven to a nearby hospital in the police car while McGill continued to hold pressure and keep Rodney conscious at the same time.
Even after helping a complete stranger to safety, McGill wasn’t allowed to receive any details about Rodney’s status because he wasn’t family. McGill described the nightmarish experience on Facebook and asked that anyone who knew of a man named Rodney who had been a victim of the shooting to please let him know if Rodney was ok. McGill is now in touch with Sumter’s family and McGill hopes to reunite soon with the man whose life he saved. Sumter, a father of two, is now awaiting surgery at a local Orlando hospital but is reportedly in stable condition in the meantime.
After McGill’s Facebook post went viral, friends of Rodney reached out to thank McGill for his selfless bravery in the middle of such a tragic and deadly situation. DailyNurse would also like to honor the courageous nursing student as our Nurse of the Week.