Survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., have filed a lawsuit against 31 city police officers, including a security guard who was hailed as a hero.
A federal lawsuit was filed Thursday against officers who allegedly either waited outside or kept witnesses against their will who were trying to flee the shooting, ABC News reported.
Orlando police officer and Pulse security guard Adam Gruler, who was hailed as a hero after the shooting, is among those named in the court papers.
"[Gruler] abandoned his post, thereby allowing [the] shooter to not only enter the club once to scout out the area and make sure nobody could stop him, but to then leave Pulse, retrieve his firearms, and return to execute his sinister plan to kill people,” the documents allege, according to ABC News.
BuzzFeed News noted Thursday that Gruler had been hailed as a hero after exchanging gunfire with the shooter in the parking lot.
Gruler then stayed outside and called for backup when he realized he was outgunned as gunman Omar Mateen went inside.
Mateen was killed by police after storming the nightclub on June 12, 2016. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in the attack.
The city of Orlando is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit filed Thursday, ABC News reported.
"While people, unarmed, innocent were inside a club getting absolutely massacred by a crazed gunman there were a bunch of people ... with guns, with the training and capability to take that shooter out,” Solomon Radner, attorney for the plaintiffs, told the outlet.
“Instead of doing their job, they worried about themselves, they stayed outside, they worried only about their own safety, knowing that people were literally getting mowed down by the dozens just a few feet away,” Radner added.
A total of 34 plaintiffs are filing the lawsuits, including people from the estates of six victims who were fatally wounded.
Radner said nine of the plaintiffs were unlawfully detained by police as they ran away from the scene.
He said they were arrested and held for upwards of 12 hours.