Read more about the Orlando massacre
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- Orlando shooting victim graduated from Tennessee high school
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- FBI: Orlando gunman had strong indications of radicalization
- Obama says no signs Orlando shooter was part of larger plot
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- Across the world, shock and condemnation at Orlando massacre
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- Chattanooga's Muslim youth gather outside local mosque to mourn, denounce hatred after Orlando mass shooting
- Worst mass shooting in US history: 50 slain at gay nightclub in Orlando
- It was just another night of drinking and dancing in Orlando, until the shots began
- Orlando releasing nightclub shooting victims' names, ages
- As Orlando shootings unfolded, a horror for one mother via text
- Orlando massacre spurs grief and fear for LGBT Americans
- What We Know: Gay nightclub shooting deadliest on US soil
- Shooter in Orlando massacre was licensed security officer
- Tony Awards to be dedicated to victims of nightclub shooting
- Obama decries Orlando shooting as an 'act of terror'
- The Latest: Shooter dies after Florida nightclub shooting
- Police: Mass casualties after club shooting; shooter is dead
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - 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."
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