How heartbreaking. As the world tries to heal from the senseless murders that occurred at Pulse Nightclub on June 12, Mina Justice, who’s son was killed, relives the awful tragedy while sharing his final text messages.
“Mommy I love you. In club, they shooting.” These are a few of the last words scrambled together at 2:06am by Eddie Justice, 30, who had his life stolen by him during the shooting rampage committed by 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen. Eddie’s mother Mina Justice shared her son’s frightening texts as he informed her of his endangerment at the popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12.
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“Trapp in bathroom,” he texted. “He’s coming. I’m gonna die.” Mina gets choked up reading her son’s final messages to NY Daily News, as she continues to explain how she inquired about the other patrons who were also in jeopardy during the worst mass shooting in United States history. Eddie speedily wrote to his worried mother that he was hiding in the women’s bathroom, prompting her to call 911 for immediate assistance. She and Eddie were able to exchange a few phone calls and texts, but each moment was agonizing after she reported to dispatch that there was a shooting and that her son among others were hurt.
“Hurry, he’s in the bathroom with us. He’s a terror.” A few moments later, Eddie’s last words to his mother were, “He has us, and he’s in here with us.” Omar held 320 of the patrons hostage at the “hottest gay bar in Orlando” before firing bullets off into the crowd. He killed 50 people, including Eddie, as well as injured 53 others during the massacre described as a hate-crime, before being shot and killed by the police. The gunman also called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS before committing the attack, and previously expressed homophobic views to his father. President Barack Obama called this horrific night an “act of terrorism.”
Mina had to patiently wait in agony for hours until the official list of the dead was revealed, now sharing 10 of the 50 names of the slain individuals who had their precious lives so mercilessly stolen from them. Her son’s name was confirmed early on June 13, in addition to Edward Sotomayor, an employee of a gay travel website and Luis Vielma, who worked at the Universal Orlando Resort theme park. Stanley Almodovar, Luis Ocasio-Capo, Juan Guerrero, Eric Ortiz-Rivera, Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, and club bouncer Kimberly Morris, 37, were also listed.
Since the horrific incident, celebrities among others have shown an outpouring of support to Orlando and the LGBTQ communities. Florida’s largest LGBTQ rights group has started a GoFundMe campaign, raising more than $1.7 million in 24 hours. “Funds raised on this page will be going directly to the victims and families affected by the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub,” reads the campaign page. The mass shooting also comes shortly after the tragic homicide of Cristina Grimmie, 22, who was fatally shot after opening her arms to “meet and greet” her killer on June 10. To contribute to Christina’s GoFundMe page, click here. Our thoughts remain with all those who are suffering during this very difficult time.
HollywoodLifers, please send your love to the friends, families and fans of all those who lost their lives over the weekend.