Orlando victim whose video captured moment gunman opened fire 'had chance to escape but went back for her best friend'

Amanda Alvear. Credit: ITV News

A victim of the Orlando massacre had the chance to escape but went back to find her best friend, her brother has told ITV News.

Amanda Alvear's Snapchat video captured the moment Omar Mateen opened fire in Pulse nightclub on Sunday morning.

The 25-year-old trainee nurse was one of the 49 victims of America's worst ever mass shooting, dying alongside her best friend in the venue's bathroom.

In a moving interview with our correspondent Geraint Vincent, her grieving brother Brian Alvear said her unswerving loyalty to her friends cost his sister her life.

"I found out earlier today from another friend of hers that Amanda and her had a chance to escape, but Amanda went back in because she wasn't going to leave without Mercedes," he said.

"She almost made it out."

Brian Alvear pictured during the moving interview with ITV News.
Amanda, 25, was training to become a nurse.

Paying tribute to his sister, Brian said: "She was one of the sweetest, most caring girls you'd ever meet."

He said she inspired "fierce loyalty" from her many friends.

Footage from Amanda's Snapchat video, which showed her final moments alive, have been broadcast around the world since the atrocity.

"The fear in her eyes once she realises what's going on...I'm her big brother I wanted to jump in and save my sister but you can't," Brian said.

Speaking about his sister's killer, he said: "My heart goes out to his family. As my mother said, they lost a son just like we lost a daughter and sister.

"I know there's people spreading hate towards them - it's not their fault what their son became."

A GoFundMe page set up to support the victims and their families has so far raised more than $3 million - making it one of the largest ever crowdfunding campaigns.