Orlando shooting: As the shootings unfolded, a horror for a mother via text / June 13 , 2016

Orlando shooting: As the shootings unfolded, a horror for a mother via text
By Tamara Lush The Associated Press

Just afraid he’s going to die’: Mother gets texts from son during Pulse Nightclub shooting

‘No one can tell me where my son is’: mother cries looking for her son

Shooting inside Florida nightclub leaves 50 dead, another 53 wounded

Pulse Nightclub shooting witness describes attack

50 killed, another 53 wounded in worst mass shooting in U.S. history

Ex-wife of shooter in Orlando Pulse Nightclub calls gunman ‘disturbed’

President Obama decries the ‘brutal murder’ of Orlando nightclub shooting
FBI first became aware of Orlando shooting suspect in 2013: FBI spokesperson
President Obama: Attack on any American, regardless of sexual orientation, is an attack on all of us
Cellphone video captures a barrage of bullets being fired during Orlando nightclub shooting
Florida Islamic leader calls on community to come forward with information on Orlando shooting
‘This is clearly an act of terrorism’: Florida Governor Rick Scott on Pulse Nightclub shooting
FBI investigating whether Orlando shooter was a ‘lone wolf’ or part of larger conspiracy
Florida Governor declares state of emergency in wake of Pulse Nightclub shooting
Hundreds of people line up to donate blood for Orlando shooting victims
U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson comments on Orlando shooter’s identity
50 people confirmed dead at Pulse Nightclub shooting

NOTE: This story was updated at 8:05 a.m. Monday after it was revealed that Eddie Justice was among the victims.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Mina Justice was sound asleep when she received the first text from her son, Eddie Justice, who was in the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, when a gunman opened fire, leaving 50 dead and more than 50 wounded.
Related

A woman cries and holds flowers in front of a makeshift memorial to remember the victims of a mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., in New York, Sunday, June 12, 2016. ‘God will punish homosexuals’: Father of Orlando mass shooting suspect, Omar Mateen
Luis Vielma Luis Vielma, Orlando shooting victim: J.K. Rowling ‘can’t stop crying’ over ‘Harry Potter’ worker
Police stand behind a crime scene tape near the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. Orlando Shooting: Witnesses tell their stories on social media during attack
David Sotomayor, who is the cousin of Edward Sotomayor was among the victims, kneels at a makeshift memorial during a vigil for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. ‘I miss you friend’: How the Orlando shooting victims are being remembered
Family members wait for word from police after arriving down the street from a shooting involving multiple fatalities at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. Orlando shooting: LGBT community reacts after victims ‘had their futures stolen’

This is the conversation she had over text message with her 30-year-old son:

“Mommy I love you,” the first message said. It was 2:06 a.m.

“In club they shooting.”

Mina Justice tried calling her 30-year-old son. No answer.

Alarmed and half awake, she tapped out a response.

“U ok”

At 2:07 a.m., he wrote: “Trapp in bathroom.”

Justice asked what club, and he responded: “Pulse. Downtown. Call police.”

Then at 2:08: “I’m gonna die.”

Now wide awake, Justice dialed 911.

She sent a flurry of texts over the next several minutes.

“I’m calling them now.

U still in there

Answer our damn phone

Call them

Call me.”

The 911 dispatcher wanted her to stay on the line. She wondered what kind of danger her son was in. He was normally a homebody who liked to eat and work out. He liked to make everyone laugh. He worked as an accountant and lived in a condo in downtown Orlando.

“Lives in a sky house, like the Jeffersons,” she would say. “He lives rich.”

She knew he was gay and at a club – and all the complications that might entail. Fear surged through her as she waited for his next message.

At 2:39 a.m., he responded:

“Call them mommy

Now.”

He wrote that he was in the bathroom.

“He’s coming

I’m gonna die.”

Justice asked her son if anyone was hurt and which bathroom he was in.

“Lots. Yes,” he responded at 2:42 a.m.

When he didn’t text back, she sent several more messages. Was he with police?

“Text me please,” she wrote.

“No,” he wrote four minutes later. “Still here in bathroom. He has us. They need to come get us.”

At 2:49 a.m., she told him the police were there and to let her know when he saw them.

“Hurry,” he wrote. “He’s in the bathroom with us.”

She asked, “Is the man in the bathroom wit u?”

At 2:50 a.m.: “He’s a terror.”

Then, a final text from her son a minute later: “Yes.”

More than 15 hours after that text, Justice still hasn’t heard from her son. She and a dozen family and friends are at a hotel that has become a staging area for relatives awaiting news. Any news.

“His name has not come up yet and that’s scary. It’s just …” she paused and patted her heart. “It’s just, I got this feeling. I got a bad feeling.”

On Monday, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice was confirmed to be among the 49 victims.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s