During Mass Shooting Son Texts Mom, "I'm gonna die"
(CBSNews) ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mina Justice was sound asleep when she received the first text from her son, Eddie Justice, who was in the gay nightclub when a gunman opened fire and slaughtered 50 and wounded more than 50 others. Here 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.
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
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
He wrote that he was in the bathroom.
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 hear heart. "It's just, I got this feeling. I got a bad feeling."
As soon as shots started firing around 2:20 a.m. ET, eyewitness accounts began flooding social media, and the club itself alerted party-goers, at about 3 a.m. ET, by posting a frantic message on its Facebook page: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."
Hours later, the same post has amassed numerous responses including unconfirmed eyewitness reports of the attack and others trying to locate family members or friends who were thought to be at the club.
One mother, Libia Carmen, who was on the phone with her daughter still allegedly inside the club, posted: "My daughter is in there. Please keep praying for them... She's waiting for cops to be able to come out. I was on the fone and all i hear is shot guns."
Another Facebook user, Ricardo Almodovar, responded: "I was there. Shooter opened fire @ around 2:00am. People on the dance floor and bar got down on the floor and some of us who were near the bar and back exit managed to go out through the outdoor area and just ran. I am safely home and hoping everyone gets home safely as well :( "
Multiple Twitter users, some who were allegedly hiding from the gunman and reaching out for help, described the grisly scene inside. @lakecitymedman wrote "I've never seen so much blood and mayhem or been so scared ever."
Officials have started removing bodies from inside the Orlando nightclub.
Sunday night, workers brought four bodies on stretchers out of club Pulse and loaded them into white vans. The action was repeated over and over.
The bodies were then taken to the Orange County Medical Examiner's office.