Patience Carter, along with her friend Tiara Parker, 20, and Parker’s cousin, Akyra Murray, 18, were enjoying themselves on vacation when they decided to go to Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
“We were having the time of our lives,” Carter said at a press conference earlier this week. “Akyra was being the life of the party — everyone loved and adored her. It was the most beautiful bonding experience three girls could have.”
Unfortunately, just after Carter had called an Uber to head home, gunfire erupted. Carter and Murray were able to get out, but they realized Parker was still inside and turned back to get her, hiding out in the bathroom with several others.
Carter says the shooter, Omar Mateen, then arrived in the bathroom and continued to fire. Carter was struck in the legs, while Parker was hit in the side and Murray was struck in the arm. Carter felt a body fall on her legs, pinning her down.
Carter then recalled the shooter asking if there were “any black people” in the bathroom, and when a man responded that there were “six or seven of us,” Mateen said that he “didn’t have a problem with black people” and said that “you guys have suffered enough.”
Mateen spoke with the people trapped in the bathroom for a while longer, at one point becoming agitated when someone’s phone started to ring. Carter reasoned that the phone must have belonged to someone who had died when no one responded to Mateen’s demands for the phone, so she threw her own phone out to keep Mateen from shooting again.
When police arrived, more shots rang out, and the bathroom piping was hit, flooding the area. “I thought, ‘If they don’t get to me soon I might drown sitting here in this bloody water,’” Carter recalled. She was eventually able to get the body off of her legs.
Police found Carter and Parker and got them to separate ambulances, and they are both now in stable condition.
Murray died from her injuries.