An 18-year-old girl who was killed in the Orlando massacre sent desperate text messages to her parents moments before being shot. Her parents have shared those text messages.
Akyra Murray was visiting Orlando from Philadelphia as a way to celebrate her graduation from high school and her full ride basketball scholarship to Mercyhurst University, according to KABC.
She went to Pulse Orlando with her cousin and a friend after persuading her reluctant parents to take her.
"The night it happened, I didn't really want her to go and she just kept begging me, 'Dad, take me,' and I said, 'She's on vacation,'" her father, Albert Murray, recalled.
A few hours after dropping her off, the Murrays received scary text messages from their daughter.
"Please come get us now," one said.
"Please, they shooting," read another.
While her parents were in the car on their way to the nightclub, they got a horrifying phone call.
"I received a phone call from my daughter saying, 'Mom, I've been shot in the arm, help me please, I'm scared, I am bleeding so bad. Please help me, call the cops, please help me,'" Natalie Murray said. "I guess at that point she was in the bathroom, and the assailant guy was in there with them."
The frantic parents were forced to wait outside while the police tried to negotiate with the gunmen, who was holding hostages.
Survivors who were in the bathroom with Akyra said she was on the phone with police, explaining the situation and telling them where they were being held, KABC reports.
It took 36 hours for the Murrays to learn that their teenage daughter had been killed.
"I'm just hurt," Natalie said. "A feeling of emptiness knowing that my daughter is not coming home with us is just the saddest part."
"I just keep seeing her face," Albert said.
Even so, Natalie is trying not to dwell on Akyra's tragic end.
"[I] have to keep it positive and know my daughter died for a good cause, saving her cousins and friend, and knowing she was happy up until the end, until the day she stopped breathing," she said.
Authorities are currently investigating the wife of shooter Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before being fatally shot by police, according to CNN. While the FBI doesn't believe Noor Salman was a co-conspirator in the massacre, she could face charges for failing to notify police of her husband's intentions. She is said to be cooperating with law enforcement.