Four survivors of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub last month will tell their stories in an upcoming MTV True Life special called True Life: We Are Orlando.
MTV announced the historic special today along with a new digital docuseries that will precede it, allowing viewers to meet the subjects and follow their stories in real time on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr while the special is still in production.
According to producers, the “first-of-its-kind format will give viewers the chance to meet heroes and survivors of the attack, hear what happened inside Pulse nightclub, support the entire Orlando community and never forget the innocent lives lost.”
The social docuseries will include “exclusive footage of the subjects of the episode which will not be included in the final TV episode,” the network said in a statement, “as well as interviews and footage of other LGBTQ community members from Orlando who will not appear during the one-hour TV episode, but who were in Pulse during the attack or were impacted by the shooting.”
Among the survivors at the heart of the special are Tony Marrero, Patience Carter, Tiara Parker, and Joshua McGill.
Their stories are as follows:
Tony was shot four times during the attack, including once in the back. He faces a long road ahead as he heals from his physical wounds, but is finding it more challenging to accept the loss of his best friend Luis Vielma, who was killed in the attack, and also come to terms with the guilt he feels over being forced to leave an unknown club patron behind as he called for help while Tony crawled out of the club.
Patience Carter & Tiara Parker
While on vacation from Philadelphia, Patience, Tiara and Tiara’s cousin Akyra headed to Pulse for a night out. The three young women hid in a bathroom during the attack where they were shot and trapped in the room with the shooter during his three hour standoff with the police. Patience and Tiara are now starting therapy to deal with the unspeakable actions that they witnessed and begin to move forward.
During the attack, Joshua fled over the back wall of the club and hid behind a car where he heard a stranger crying out for help. The injured man was Rodney Sumter, a bartender at the club and father of two, who had been shot multiple times. Joshua crafted a tourniquet out of his shirt to stop the bleeding in both of Rodney’s arms. A police officer then instructed Josh to lie down in the back of his car with Rodney on top of him and squeeze his back to constrict the blood from a third wound as they drove to the hospital – where the two men were separated before Josh had a chance to learn Rodney’s fate.
MTV will begin airing footage on their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr beginning Monday, July 25 leading up to the premiere of True Life: We Are Orlando on Monday, August 15 at 8pm.