A Kevlar helmet likely saved the life of an officer who was struck and injured while responding to a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, police said Sunday.
The unidentified officer suffered an eye injury when a bullet struck his helmet, said Danny Banks, special agent in charge of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Orlando bureau.
The helmet saved the officer’s life however, Banks said.
Authorities said Omar Mateen killed 49 people early Sunday morning when he opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando, Florida.
The gun battle that killed Mateen began after the gunman emerged through a hole that a police armored vehicle had made in the building to rescue hostages, Orlando police Chief John Mina told reporters Monday.
“The suspect came out of that hole himself … and engaged in a gun battle with officers, where he was ultimately killed,” Mina said.
Mateen’s death brought the total number of people killed to 50.
At one point during the hourslong ordeal, Mateen called 911 to pledge allegiance to the ISIS terror group and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, according to a U.S. official.
Police are investigating the attacker’s possible ties to ISIS, CNN reported.