First responder to Pulse nightclub massacre could face pension cut

A police officer who responded to last year's Pulse Nightclub massacre in Florida is being dismissed -- just six months before being eligible to receive pension benefits.

Cpl. Omar Delgado of the Eatonville Police Department was told Monday that his last day would be Dec. 31.

Six more months would have allowed the 45-year-old officer to collect 64 percent of his salary, plus benefits, for life. Instead, he will now receive only 42 percent of his salary starting at age 55, the Orlando Sentinel reported.   

The officer claims the department made the decision after a doctor found him unfit to return to full duty because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The department did not confirm Delgado’s claim but Deputy Chief Joseph Jenkins said the department reached an agreement with Delgado to end his employment, the Sentinel's report said.

Delgado was among the first police officers on the scene June 12, 2016, after a gunman killed 49 people and left 68 wounded. He was praised for helping to save the life of Angel Colon, who had been shot several times.

Delgado now suffers from PTSD. A few months after the shooting, he returned to his patrol job but soon had to stop because memories from the bloody nightclub scene haunted him.

“Too many people. God forbid, something happens — I don’t know if I’d be able to react,” Delgado said speaking about being fearful even going to restaurants and bars.

For the last eight months, Delgado has worked a desk job but will be unable to reap the benefits of his pension when he is let go by the end of the month after nearly 10 years on the job.