News

Actions

EXCLUSIVE: Amanda Grau reveals details not yet release about Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 05, 2016

Three hours.

It's how long Amanda Grau was left to wonder if she would live or die.

It's how long the Tampa nurse was held hostage in the bathroom at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando June 12.

It's how long the 33-year-old got to witness telling action.

""We were screaming, 'Please stop!' and you know, 'No more!.'" Grau recalled.

Grau estimates she was in the bathroom along with about 10 other people.

Grau was already wounded on the dance floor and had run into the bathroom to seek shelter.

It would prove to be a deadly move for many and in Grau's case, a pivotal move.

She says she hid in a handicapped bathroom stall.  Initially the door was locked.

"I hovered over people actually. I was on top of people," she said.

Within minutes, the bathroom door flew open and Omar Mateen walked in armed.

Grau remembers Mateen immediately opening fire.

She says she tried played dead and hid behind another injured woman.

Grau was struck again by flying bullets, bringing her wounds to a total of four.

"The big gun that he had, the AK, I guess what he had, which was a big blast underneath my armpit," she explained of her injuries.

According to Grau, she was too petrified to talk or even whimper.

Using her nursing skills, she told ABC Action News she applied pressure to her wounds and began checking on others.

"He went out one time to fire in the other bathroom I believe," Grau said.

Mateen reportedly instructed his hostages to turn off their cell phones.  If caught texting or making calls, Grau said the consequence would be death.

Grau decided to risk her life to save others.

She recalls texting her partner Elizabeth and then her brother Phillip.  She says Phillip was able to get in touch with head negotiators and put Grau in touch with them.

Grau says she sent them critical information, like where the gunman was and where the hostages were being held.

Grau admits she watched her actions carefully, careful not the break the silence in the bathroom.

It would be Mateen who would break the silence.

According to Grau, she heard the faucet being turned on and off.  Later, when Mateen forced open the handicapped stall door, Grau says Mateen was repeatedly washing his face and hands.

Still, no one spoke or tried to reason with Mateen.

Then, there was a question.

"He did ask if anybody was black," Grau recalled.

Grau said despite the majority being black, no one responded.  She claims this infuriated Mateen and he gave them one more chance to respond.

"He was saying, 'I  have no problem with you guys.'  He says, 'You can relate to how " am feeling. He said he was sick of his people getting bombed," Grau recounted.

His statement coupled with phone calls made to 911 confirmed Grau's fear, Mateen was a terrorist.

"I just did what I had to do to survive," she said.

She told ABC Action News Mateen taunted his hostages, boasting about all the bullets he had left and talking about bombs he brought with him.

Before walking out of the bathroom for the last time, Grau says Mateen opened fire again.

Then, she heard an explosion.

"I thought it was him...blasting," she said.

It wasn't Mateen.  It was rescuers blowing a hole in both bathroom walls.

"I felt hope.  I was just thanking god that I was able to be finally saved," she said.

Grau was rushed to the hospital and immediately underwent surgery.

The FBI sequestered her family and continued questioning her about the tragic events.

According to Grau, that is when FBI agents explained Mateen washing himself repeatedly was actually a ritual.  Adding, Mateen was preparing to die.

Grau told ABC Action News she still has shards of bullets in her body that doctors are not removing.

She is now doing physical therapy three hours per day.

Still, she has to use a walker to get around.

Grau expects to finally be released from the hospital this coming weekend.

She says she is looking forward to spending time with her partner Elizabeth, her daughter, her brother and her family.