Orlando survivor haunted by loss of best friend in shooting

ORLANDO -- We can imagine the horror of the attack at Pulse nightclub, but on Tuesday we heard a worse reality.

Survivors spoke of the lights going out, the sound of an assault rifle being reloaded. They told us of the pleas for help as the killer returned to the wounded -- to shoot them again.

Extended cut: Orlando shooting survivor describes horror of attack

The death toll holds at 49. The oldest was 50, the youngest was just 18. They are victims of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the deadliest terror attack on American soil since 9/11.

Among those killed Sunday morning was Eddie Justice, a 30-year-old tax accountant who went to the club at the last minute for last call. He took his best friend, Demetrice Naulings, who survived.

"We were standing at the bar and ordering a drink. We never even got that drink," Naulings told CBS News' Scott Pelley.

Naulings said they were dancing when the first shots were fired, and he and his friends initially thought it was the music. Once they realized what was happening, they were in complete shock.

At one point, Naulings said the lights went out and it was completely silent.

"You could hear a pin drop, you could hear the bullets drop. I even heard the clip fall on the floor for him to just reload again."

Heartbreaking account of surviving the Orlando massacre

Naulings and Justice ran into the women's bathroom but decided not to stay there -- they would try to find a way out.

"[Eddie] looked at me, and the image in his face I will never forget, will haunt me for the rest of my life. He looked at me and he just said, 'Take care of me, please don't leave me.' He knew I was going to take care of him, because he was more than just a friend. He was like a brother," Naulings said.

"I said 'I'm not going to let go, we're going to get out of here.'"

As Naulings tried to lead them to a door down a small hallway, they got separated in the darkness and chaos as people rushed to find an exit.

"As I'm looking behind me and still moving, a girl gets shot right behind me, and she falls on the floor and people trample over her like she's nothing. Because they're so in a panic," Naulings explained.

Naulings made it outside, but Justice was not with him. He ended up trapped in a bathroom, texting his mother begging her to call the police. "He's in the bathroom with us," Justice told her.

Justice also texted Naulings asking for help. He said he had been shot, and he was going into shock.

"In the back of my head, I fault me because I'm supposed to be the bigger brother to protect him," Naulings said as he broke down in tears.

But Naulings said his friend did not die in vain, and he will live his life in honor of Justice and all of the other victims.

Empathy on display after Orlando shooting massacre

"This was a hate crime on people, not just gay people. We were never a disease or abomination. We are human. We wanted to be accepted, we were in our safe comfort zone. This was somewhere we can be us. There is no judgment when you enter somewhere you are safe at, it's like your home."

Naulings was not the only survivor to point out that Pulse was a "safe zone" for the gay community.

In 2016, it seems there are no safe zones -- for anyone. Not a nightclub, not a movie theater, not a church, not even a school.