At a Santa Ana vigil, Amanda Fox recounted how her friend Megan had contacted her from inside Orlando's Pulse Nightclub, as the attack occurred on Sunday morning.
Megan had not been hit by gunfire but her girlfriend, a 21-year-old woman, had been shot.
"She got hit and she fell and Megan just held her as she went," said Fox.
The woman's family has yet to learn of her death.
Fox joined other members of the LGBT community at the vigil, using words like solidarity and cohesion, saying fear should be replaced with pride.
Reverend Kent Doss of the Tapestry Unitarian Universalist Congregation, agreed, saying, "The closet isn't a place for anyone, take it from me. Hiding doesn't protect you, hiding just robs the world of the beautiful unique person you are."
At a news conference early Sunday, the Council on American Islamic Relations made a statement on the gunman's 911 call.
"And if anyone tries to blame a community, in this case the Muslim community, in my opinion, they're only fueling insensitivity and fueling hatred," said Hussam Ayloush, director of the council.
In Santa Ana, candles stand as a symbol of peace, on a night, organizers said, that the lights were for Orlando.
At the vigil, Fox said, "I can't put myself anywhere near a mindset to be able to hate people enough just for what we do, for being who we are, for loving who we love."