Injured Orlando Nightclub Survivors Recall Facing the Gunman

Tiara Parker and Patience Carter describe the horrific moments when they tried to escape from suspect Omar Mateen's barrage of bullets that killed 49 people, including Parker's cousin.
8:55 | 06/15/16

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Transcript for Injured Orlando Nightclub Survivors Recall Facing the Gunman
A newportera porcherate is emerging of the man who killed at the Orlando night club. And now stories from the terrible night we're hearing for the first time. Three young women out on the town trapped in a deadly nightmare. Reporter: What did he look like to you when you went face to face with the killer? He looked deranged. He looked like something was mentally wrong with him. Reporter: Before the massacre began that would take 49 victims, injuring 53, the night started out like most nights at pulse in Orlando. Latin music blasting, close to 300 inside. 20-year-old tiara parker was there with her cousin and best Frie friend. Reporter: Three straight girls at a gay night club. They loved us from the time we walked in the door. We were comfortable. We were having so much fun. We thought this was going to be the kick off for the rest of the week. Reporter: But just as they ordered their Uber car to leave, shots rang out. In the confusion, friends are split up. Patience and akeira making it out. I tell her let's go get tiara, we got to get tiara. Reporter: They find tiara and more than a dozen others. But they're cornered, all of them trying to hide from the gunman inside the back bathroom. We were the last ones to get in the bathroom stall and so the gunman came in and you hear him load the gun. We're screaming at the top of our lungs. People are getting hit by bullets. There blood was everywhere and then there was a moment where he stopped shooting in the bathroom. Reporter: For three torcherous hours they were trapped in the bathroom by the gunman. So the bullet went in there? It went in there and came out my back. Reporter: She tried to negotiate with the killer. What was she saying? That we're hurt, please leave us alone. She was shot in her arm right here. I feel the pain. I started to feel the pain. Reporter: And you laid on top of your cousin's arm because you wanted to stop the bleeding. I guess me must have thought I die would my eyes open and I kept staring at him and from then I thought he was going to shoot me in my face but I was just sitting there and I staired at him and he got up and said "Oh, yeah." He stopped shooting for a while and made a call to 911 and said the reason he's doing this is he wants America to stop bombing his country, he pledges allegiance to Isis. He asked if there were any black people and he sds I know what you guys been through in slavery and anything. It's nothing personal. I'm just trying to send a message to the government to stop killing my people in Iraq. All I remember him saying is hey, you and shot three more times, killing three more people. Reporter: They saved Kierra, patience, and the other hostages. He came in the stall with us. We could no longer hold the door. Because the stall didn't lock. That's why we had to hold it. Reporter: Tiara watched as police and the shooter exchanged heavy gun fire. They killed him. I watched him die. I could see him. Reporter: But akeira was lying lifeless on the floor. I feel her, I grab her hand and I feel her grab me back and I'm like, please, get her, get her. They're like, we got to get you first, then we can get her. Reporter: Patience was shot in both legs. They would spend the next day 1/2 in the dark until news came that akeira did not survive. She's a hero. She came back looking for me. To make sure I was going to get out with them. My cousin had the brightest future in front of her. Reporter: Tonight there is new insight into the mind of the shooter, omar Mateen. The FBI leaning heavily on his wife who allegedly tried to talk him out of harming anyone. Seen her face hidden under her sweatshirt, after packing up her belongings from the couple's apartment. She could face charges if she had prior knowledge of the attack. She was with her husband when he recently bought ammo and a gun holster. They have full access to his phone and are combing it for clues. James van horn hangs out at pulse often. He says Mateen was a regular over the last few years but not to survey it. It's not like he just sat and staired at people. He was an active person who tried to find somebody, maybe to go to bed at night. Reporter: His interest in gay men may have gone back at least 10 years at former law enforcement training course who didn't want his face shown. Because I wasn't out at the time, I told him no, I'm not. And he said if you were gay, you would definitely be my type of guy. Reporter: While law enforcement seeks to understand his motive, the family of Cory seeks to find their own answers. If you need anything, he would drop anything and give you anything you needed. He's the kind of guy who would take a bullet. He would take a bullet for anybody. Reporter: Cory was at pulse with his girlfriend and their football team, celebrating the final game of the season. He was behind her when they were leaving and when the guy came in, he shot Paula first and she grabbed my brother's hand and said run but my brother being the hero he is, he threw her hand down and told her to run and that's when he was shot. Reporter: After the shooting, the family headed to the hospital, hoping Cory would emerge. I looked out the woinindow and saw them first and warned everybody. I knew what it meant. When they told my mom he was deceased, we fell to the floor. The only thing I could say was it's unfair and I just wanted my best friend back. Reporter: It is unfair. But you know, he had a task to do and he protected someone else. It hurts. Reporter: Tonight tiara is recovering from the horrific attack. The remains of that night inside that plastic bag. Those are the bullet holes? Yes. Reporter: That's unbelievable. This is my long sweater and these are my white jeans that they split off the knee. This shows heroism to me. Those clothes. This showed that I didn't go down without a fight. Reporter: She said it's still working. Still ticking. Reporter: What will it mean to you? Show that I've lived through a tragedy a I made the through, me and my best friend. Reporter: Akeira's mother reminisces about her daughter who attended prom and graduated from high school just last week. My daughter came back to save her cousin. It gave me some closure to be able to accept that she's gone but she's gone for a good cause because she could have been selfish and saved herself. But she thought enough of her cousin to say listen, we're here together so we go down together. Reporter: And patience trying to heal but some wounds take longer than others. The guilt of healing, lucky to be alive is heaven when you lay beside individuals whose lives are brutally taken, the guilt of being alive is heavy. Sgler Reporter: For "Nightline," Orlando, Florida. Our thanks to juju for that report. And families want to express an out pouring of support. Up next, both sides take aim at the assault weapon in the center

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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