A mother has revealed the last frantic text messages she received from her son as he hid inside the bathroom of a nightclub from a crazed gunman opening fire inside the venue.
Mina Justice was contacted by her son, Eddie, just after 2am on Sunday morning after he had gone out with friends to popular gay bar Pulse.
“Mommy I love you,” the 30-year-old wrote at 2:06am.
“In club they shooting.”
While texting his mother in a panic, Eddie had fled to the bathroom with several other patrons.
Terrified, he told her he thought he was going to die.
“Call police. I’m gonna die,” he wrote.
“Call them momm (sic). Now,” he begged.
“I’m tell I’m bathroom (sic). He’s coming. I’m gonna die,” Eddie wrote.
Ms Justice immediately phoned police and asked her son if anybody was hurt.
“Lots,” came Eddie’s reply.
“Are you wit (sic) police yet?” his mother asked.
“No. Still here. In bathroom. He has us. They need to come get us,” Eddie said.
On the phone to police, Ms Justice told Eddie authorities had entered the building.
“Let me no (sic) when u see the police,” she wrote.
“Hurry. He’s in the bathroom with us.
“He’s a terror.”
At 2:50am, nearly 45 minutes after originally texting his mother in fear, Eddie stopped replying.
In between the text messages, Ms Justice said she talked to her son briefly on the phone, but Eddie was afraid of attracting attention from the shooter.
She said he sounded “bad, just afraid he’s gonna die”.
On Monday morning, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice was confirmed by police as one of the 49 killed in the gunfire.
Among the deceased, another 53 were injured in the massacre, which has become the deadliest shooting in US history.
Police identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old Muslim American of Afghan descent who was born and raised in New York.
Mateen, armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and a “suspicious device” that some witnesses believe was a suicide vest, opened fire inside Pulse in downtown Florida.
For three hours he held hostages inside the building, as police prepared to storm the building.
At 5am, a SWAT team entered the club where a shootout with Mateen ensued.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives of Mateen described him as a homophobic but not overly-religious man who regularly assaulted his ex-wife.
His father, Mir Seddique, believes the shooting was not an act of terror.
"We are in shock like the whole country," Mir Seddique said. "This had nothing to do with religion."
He said Mateen had recently been offended to see two gay men expressing affection on a Miami street.
"We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music," the father told NBC News in the immediate aftermath if the shooting.
"And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry," Seddique said.
The attack became the worst mass shooting in modern US history in front of the Virginia Tech massacre, which claimed 32 lives, and the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, which killed 27 people.