Flowers and pictures of victims are placed near the entrance of Reina nightclub, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey Jan. 2, 2017. Reuters

As Istanbul mourned the 39 victims killed during a shooting rampage inside a nightclub on New Year's Eve, victims from around the world spoke out on Monday about the harrowing experiences they faced while ringing in the new year. One of the at least 60 people injured Saturday night was William Jacob Raak, a 35-year-old traveler from Delaware who was shot during the terror attack the Islamic State group later claimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally directed via a phone call.

Raak spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon in the airport, still bandaged and sitting in a wheelchair. "I was with nine people, seven of us were shot," Raak told NBC News. Every person in his group lay on the floor and played dead as the shooting rampage continued around them, he said. "All I can say is it’s a massive tragedy."

Rather than searching for the nearest exit or seeking shelter in the bathrooms or corners of the popular Reina club, where 500 people were reportedly packed into a New Year’s Eve party, Raak stayed in place. "I just let him shoot me," he continued. "You just have to stay as calm as you can… I took a bullet."

Eight people linked to Istanbul’s New Year terror attack have been detained, Turkish authorities reported. Meanwhile, the gunman was still at large as an exhaustive manhunt operation enveloped the Turkish city.

"He was walking on a bench above my head, where my head was underneath," Raak said. The bullet went from his hip to his knee, though doctors were eventually able to remove it from his body.

Relatives of Fatih Cakmak, a security guard and a victim of an attack by a gunman at Reina nightclub, react during his funeral in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 2, 2017. Reuters

Raak's initial reaction to the shooting was captured early Sunday morning as he was wheeled into a nearby ambulance. His words became a part of the viral flood of real-time footage international audiences celebrating the new year watched unfold.

"I was shot in the f--king leg, man," Raak said, visibly shaken by the night’s tragic developments. "These crazy people came in shooting everything."