ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Eddie Justice, 30, was one of the 49 victims who was killed at the Pulse nightclub. Friends and family gathered Monday to remember and reflect on his life.
"He looked at me, he said, 'Don't leave me' and I grabbed his hand and I told him 'I'm not going to leave you, we're going to get out of this, but we can't stay in this bathroom because I feel like it's just a trap,'" said Demetrice Naulings. That was the last conversation that Naulings had with his best friend, Eddie Justice, known to friends as Bryson.
Just minutes after entering the Pulse nightclub, they heard the shots and ran to the bathroom. "With everyone trying to get through a small door, I guess with all the pushing, we lost touch, and that was the last that I've seen my friend actually," Naulings said.
That's what brought family and friends together at Lake Eola Monday evening to honor the memory of Eddie Justice, they wrote messages of love and laughter on hearts in remembrance of a life tragically cut short.
"Eddie was like another son to me, him and Demetrice had just left me house and Eddie told me he loved me so it really has taken a toll over the family," said Tripholia Moreland who attended the vigil.
After a prayer they stood in a circle, releasing balloons to the sky in honor of Eddie. Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was also there to release balloons, Demetrice says he organized the vigil in an effort to speak up for the victims who can longer speak for themselves.
"People loved him, just him unconditionally, so that's what I want to put out is love," Naulings said.
Funeral services for Justice will be held Saturday at 11 am.