Remembering the Orlando 49: Eddie Justice

Remembering the Orlando 49: Eddie Justice
Photo via Courtney Robinson/Facebook

Every week between now and the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings, Orlando Weekly will profile a person killed on June 12, 2016. This week: Eddie Justice.

His friends knew him as Brycen Banks.

That's the nickname Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30, created for himself. It makes sense when you learn he was an accountant, and as his friend Guardini Bellefleur described him, a little bougie. He drove a Mercedes, owned a business and lived in a high-rise in downtown Orlando, "in a sky house, like the Jeffersons," his mother, Wilhelmina Justice, told the Associated Press. A few months ago, he had met Alejandro Ortega and they fell deeply in love.

Justice also loved Latin Night at Pulse. When the gunman attacked, Justice was there with a group, including his best friend and survivor of the shooting, Demetrice Naulings. Naulings told CBS News that during the shooting, Justice told him, "Take care of me. Please don't leave me." He was separated from his friends in the rush to escape the club and was trapped in one of the club's bathrooms. During that time, he texted his mother, saying, "Mommy I love you." In his final text, he called the gunman in the bathroom with them "a terror."

At a vigil for Justice, Naulings reminisced over their last good memory together at Naulings' birthday party in May. Naulings dyed Justice's hair blond, and all night, he flaunted his new look.

"We were a battery together," Naulings says. "He was the positive, I was the negative. He made everybody smile around him ... he was my No. 1 fan."

Naulings says he's going to continue talking about Justice because he wants people to know his friend didn't die in vain.

"I'm speaking for people who won't have a chance to have a life ever again," he says between tears. "I'm speaking for my best friend, who was supposed to speak for me."

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