MESA, Ariz. - Twenty-year-old Jason Josaphat, who graduated from Skyline High School in Mesa, is among the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando this weekend.
Josaphat was one of 49 victims in the shooting at Pulse nightclub that left 53 more wounded. The shooter also killed himself.
Josaphat graduated from Sky Line in 2014, then moved to Orlando with his mother.
His friends tell 12 News he was a great guy who was always happy. His mother described him as always having a smile on his face.
Jason’s aunt and uncle spoke exclusively with 12 News about the unimaginable moments that led up to his death.
“He was at the club with some friends and that’s when the gunman came inside the club,” said Jimmy Inelus, Jason’s uncle.
Inelus and his wife Myrleine explained the heartbreaking details about what was happening during the active mass shooting. Their nephew was inside that club in the bathroom.
He said his nephew Jason just wanted to go out and have one fun night with his friends.
“He called his mom and asked for help,” Jason’s aunt said.
“To let her know, please dial 911, because the gunman actually started shooting inside the club,” his uncle said.
He said that of course Jason’s mother was very nervous. She was on the phone with him the entire time.
“She heard a lot of gunshots, but she was trying to keep him calm,” he said.
At one point, for about 15 to 20 seconds, his mom couldn’t hear her son.
“It was dead silence on the phone. There was nothing,” Jason’s uncle said. “I think that’s when the gunman finally made his way in to the bathroom."
It wasn’t until Monday morning that Jason’s family got confirmation that he was one of the victims that did not survive the mass shooting.
“Anger, sadness and … ” his uncle said. He knows their family is not the only one dealing with a loss because of this mass shooting.
“It is hard," he said. "There is no word to describe exactly how we feel.”
“We cannot believe it actually happened," he said.
Now they’re left with a lot of questions. One of the biggest questions: why?
But they’re trying to focus on all of the positive memories.
“We have 20 beautiful years with Jason,” his aunt said. “God called him home. One day I’m going to see him.”
Jason’s aunt and uncle want everyone to know how thankful they are for all the support and messages they are receiving.
They’re asking for continued prayer as they travel to Florida where their family is preparing for a memorial service for Jason.
2014 Skyline Graduate a victim of the Orlando shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason Josaphat's family. pic.twitter.com/fqIFDK3ZbU— Skyline HS Athletics (@SkylineCoyote) June 13, 2016
A student-run Twitter account (@SkylineCoyote) tweeted that they were planning a vigil for Josaphat on Wednesday night.
The school would not confirm Josaphat was a student there and said they understood that the vigil would be held at a nearby park -- not on school grounds.
According to the student-run account, Josaphat was part of Spiritline -- the school's hip hop dance club -- and always had a smile on his face.
His friends have been posting condolence messages on Facebook.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Josaphat to cover the funeral costs.