Yousuf who was working as a bouncer at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, heard the first gunshots and his military experience in Afghanistan kicked in and he jumped up and at personal risk opened a back door enabling many petrified people to escape.
Yousuf whose mother and grandmother are Hindus, risked his life because he could have drawn the attention of the killer Omar Mateen who swore loyalty to the Islamic State and was carrying out the attack. But Yousuf’s brave rapid action saved 60 to 70 lives.
Yousuf has been modest, brushing off the praises and he posted on his Facebook page ‘There are a lot of people naming me a hero and as a former Marine and Afghanistan veteran, I honestly believe I reacted by instinct, while it may seem my actions are heroic I decided the others around needed to be saved as well, so I just got on with it’.
A number of newspapers and TV newscasts praised Yousuf for his bravery and selflessness, and the Marine Corp Times said he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal during his service.