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Residents living near Pulse Nightclub say shooting has changed their lives too

Posted at 11:27 PM, Jun 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-17 04:53:13-04

There is pain in the residential streets near Pulse nightclub. It's nothing compared to the loss the families of the victims are going through, or the terrifying moments the survivors lived through, both the injured and those who escaped. But, Pulse nightclub neighbors are in pain, the feel fear, and they are frustrated.

RELATED: Special Section | Photos of victims

Even if there wasn't crime scene tape still lingering in Donald Amato's yard, he still cannot get the terrifying sounds that woke him Sunday morning out of his mind. 

"It literally knocked me out of my bed, but at the time when all this happened, I heard the shooting and thought I was dreaming," said Amato. 

He lives on West Esther Street. It intersects with Orange Avenue right where Pulse Nightclub is located. His street has been blocked off on both ends since Sunday. That's not the worst part. He's lived in this neighborhood for 8 years, he's an avid walker, and he's recognizing faces of some of the 49 victims, people he chatted with often. 

"There's so much loss, it's unreal," he said. "I have to look down that street every day and I'm not moving. I have to see that every day and that's hard." 

On top of his pain he says he and other neighbors are frustrated. The worst mass shooting in U.S. history has no only gained national and world media attention, it's made his street a sight to see for tourists.

"I have people sliding down the street just wanting to be a part of it," said Amato. 

As the days progress, he learns of more familiar faces taken in Sunday's shooting, others still recovering. He says this neighborhood is grieving too. 

"This is not a tourist sight. Give us time to grieve. Give us time to get counseling," he added.