ORLANDO – A mother who exchanged panicked texts with her son the night of the Orlando nightclub shooting has learned he was killed.
“Mommy I love you.”
That’s the text Mina Justice received from her son, 30-year-old Eddie, who was in a gay night cub in Orlando when a gunman opened fire. The shooting ended up being the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Justice frantically called police as she received more texts from her son.
“In club they shooting,” the next text read.
Jeff Robinson, Eddie’s cousin, told the Palm Beach Post that by 9 p.m. Sunday, the family was left wondering what happened to Eddie. He eventually stopped responding to texts.
“My son! My son!” sobbed Justice as she sat outside Orlando Regional Medical Center, searching for her son with relatives.
The Associated Press got a copy of the text conversation.
After the initial texts from Eddie, Mina Justice tried calling her son. No answer.
She tapped out a response. “U ok”
At 2:07 a.m., he wrote: “Trapp in bathroom.”
After Justice asked what club, he responded: “Pulse. Downtown. Call police.”
Then at 2:08: “I’m gonna die.”
She called 911 and sent a flurry of texts over the next several minutes, according to the Associated Press.
“I’m calling them now.
U still in there
Answer our damn phone
Fear surged through her as she waited for his next message.
At 2:39 a.m., he responded:
“Call them mommy
Robinson said Eddie texted his mom 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?
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 told an AP reporter she was fearing for the worst. Early Monday morning, Orlando police confirmed Eddie Jamoldroy Justice was killed.
Police say 50 people, including the gunman, Omar Mateen, died in the shooting. Police say 53 others were wounded. Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida called 911 during the attacks and pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to officials.
Palm Beach Post reporter Joe Capossi contributed to this report.