Survivor of Pulse nightclub shooting still relives the unthinkable

ORLANDO -- Names of the 49 people who died at the Pulse nightclub were read aloud Monday, a year after America's worst mass shooting in history

Two days after the Pulse massacre, Demetrice Naulings told CBS News' Scott Pelley about the mayhem inside.

"A girl gets shot. Right behind me.  And she falls on the floor," Naulings said.

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Demetrice Naulings speaking to CBS News' Scott Pelley in 2016.

CBS News

Holding back tears, he added, "You could hear the bullets drop. I even heard the clip fall on the floor for him to just reload again. And then the ring of shots just keep going."

Naulings and his best friend Eddie Justice had walked in at 2 a.m. for last call. The next person to enter the club was gunman Omar Mateen.

A year later, Naulings still relives the unthinkable, and opened up to CBS News.

"It was only when you got outside and you said, 'Where's Eddie?'" we asked.

"Right. Realizing he was not behind me," Naulings recalled.

Asked if he still hears those shots, he said, "I hear it all the time… because I'm always afraid that, 'Am I next?'"

Justice was killed. He was a 30-year-old tax accountant, a jokester and Wilhemina Justice's only son.

"He was smart. He was loving… he was my world," Wilhemina told CBS News.

Eddie, wounded and hiding in a bathroom, texted his mother.

"It was 2:06 when I got the first text saying, 'I love you momma' … and he was saying, 'Tell them to hurry up. I'm gonna die.' That was it … 2:39, last text," she said.

"I grieve every moment. Some days are better than others… and some days are just not good at all," Wilhemina said as she cleared her throat. "I'll never be who I was a year ago."

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Demetric Naulings and Wilhemina Justice

CBS News

Justice and Naulings have a special connection. They find comfort in each other.

"I got Demetrice, you know?" she said. "I can't imagine what he goes through. But I love this guy. I love him."

And make no mistake, something similar in Orlando came alive after all the carnage.

"You feel the love here. It's not just Disney World and SeaWorld and Universal Studios anymore. Now it's about Orlando Strong," Naulings said.

  • Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann was named CBS News Transportation correspondent in August 2011. He has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001, and is based in the Atlanta bureau.