ORLANDO, FL (KTRK) --In Montrose, at the corner of Hyde Park and Converse Street is a growing memorial for the people who lost their lives inside the Orlando nightclub.
People stop by with signs, they lay flowers, reflecting on the tragedy that happened hundreds of miles from Houston.
But for one Houstonian, what happened early Sunday morning is all too real.
Gil De Souza was inside Pulse nightclub during the shooting rampage. He was in Orlando for a family reunion. Saturday night started out as a carefree night with friends. But Gil says when he heard the shots, he knew something was wrong.
Gil happened to be standing on the main dance floor near an exit so he and some friends got out fast. But one of his friends was in trapped in the bathroom. It's been reported several hostages were held there for hours.
Gil got in touch with his friend by phone, only to find out he was shot three times.
"I texted him a very brief message," said Gil. "I was on the phone with him for maybe 10 seconds. I could hear he was sobbing a little bit. He said, 'I'm okay,' and it was just silence after that. He hung up the phone."
Then, Gil said, another text a few minutes later.
"A friend of ours that was with him, we didn't hear form her. We didn't know if she was okay and they were together. So I asked him (by text), 'Y'all okay? Are you safe?' And he just replied yes and that was the last time I heard from him."
Gil's friend made it out of the club alive.
He was taken to the hospital, treated and released.
But Gil told abc13 he did know one of the men who didn't survive: Juan Ramon Guerrero was an acquaintance of his. Guerrero's boyfriend is reported to be missing.
Gil says police kept him and the other club goers in a secure area near the club until 8am Sunday. He was then bused to another area where he says he gave a statement to the FBI and police. He will head home to Houston later this week.
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