Leaders in a small Florida town say a police officer who was hailed as a hero for saving a man during the Pulse nightclub shooting is losing his job because he told a woman he was "emotionally disturbed" during a traffic stop.
Cpl. Omar Delgado was told his job will end Dec. 31. He contends he was let go because he's suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since the June 12, 2016, mass shooting in nearby Orlando.
Officials say an internal investigation started after a citizen filed a complaint against Delgado.
Delgado was lauded as a hero for saving nightclub shooting victim Angel Colon during the June 2016 shooting, which killed 49 people. After the massacre, he returned to patrol duty but went on desk duty after several months.
According to the Orlando Sentinal, Delgado said the department told him he was being replaced because they needed an additional officer on patrol.
During a news conference Thursday, Eatonville Mayor Eddie Cole said Delgado will receive 42 percent of his salary and benefits for life. Another six months, and he would become vested in the pension system, able to collect 64 percent of his $38,500 salary and benefits for life.
"This is the thing I've been working toward for 10 years and to be six months shy then be fired, it's like 'wow!" Delgado told USA Today.
The mayor also questioned why funds from the onePULSE Foundation, which was created to help survivors and families of victims, weren't diverted to law enforcement officers and their families.
Delgado's attorney says his client did nothing wrong.
Delgado said state lawmakers need to do more to support first responders who suffer from PTSD.
A proposed bill requiring coverage for mental health treatment in workers compensation for first responders with PTSD did advance Tuesday in Florida Senate committee in Tallahassee. It may be heard by the legislature in the session beginning Jan. 9. But similar proposals introduced last year died before making it to the floor for a vote.