June 12, 2016 12:52 pm
Updated: June 12, 2016 1:18 pm

Orlando shooting: Kevlar helmet saves police officer’s life

Orlando police provided a picture of the helmet which saved the officer's life.

Orlando Police / Twitter

At least 50 people, including the gunman, were killed during the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida Sunday morning but one police officer’s life was spared by his helmet.

The suspect exchanged gunfire with an officer working at the gay club known as Pulse around 2 a.m., when more than 300 people were inside. The gunman then went back inside and took hostages, Police Chief John Mina said.

The SWAT Team encountered the shooter, Omar S. Mateen, after making the decision to free some of the hostages.

READ MORE: Orlando shooting: 50 people killed, 53 injured at gay nightclub in Florida

Around 5 a.m., authorities sent in a SWAT team to rescue the hostages when the police encountered Mateen. At least nine police officers were involved in a shootout with Mateen, but one officer’s life was spared by his helmet.

“One of our officers was injured. It appears his Kevlar helmet saved his life,” Mina said.

The Orlando police uploaded a photo of the damaged, green helmet to Twitter – a small hole, and chipped paint visible where the bullet hit.  The officer was left with a small wound around his eye, but spared him from further damage.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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