ISTANBUL - A gunman opened fire in an Istanbul nightclub packed with New Year's revelers early Sunday, killing 39 people.

VOA's Turkish service interviewed several people outside the Reina nightclub in Orkatoy.

WATCH: Eyewitness Enver Ak?n

Eyewitness Enver Ak?n, who was in the vicinity during the attack, said: "We heard some noise but we thought it was fireworks. Then saw the patrol cars arriving. Then the ambulances followed about half an hour later. It was a mess. We then realized there was a serious thing going on. Then we saw the wounded being taken out. We have had friends inside. People were in shock. The police escorted people out. There were many foreigners as far as I could see. They were also in shock.”

WATCH: Aziz Ozcan's brother Suleyman was working at the bar

Aziz Ozcan, whose brother Suleyman was working at the bar section of the nightclub, said: "I don’t know anything because I was at work when the attack happened. I was contacted by phone, someone called me and that’s how I was notified of what was going on. I arrived here later. I don’t know how it happened.
My father and my mother are old, they can’t come here so I came down here. But I don’t know what to do. We didn’t receive any information as well so I don’t know. I don’t know if he is alive or not. We couldn’t get any answers from any hospitals either. We are just waiting.”

WATCH: As?m Uslu, whose son Erkan is a marketing director at the nightclub

As?m Uslu, whose son Erkan is a marketing director at the nightclub, said: "I guess, it happened around 1 a.m. My brother-in-law heard it on the news on TV from Erzurum (eastern Turkey). He then called my wife and told her about what happened here. He told my wife that he talked to my son, Erkan, and he was doing all right but some of his friends were shot dead or wounded. I heard about all of this at 4 a.m. and left home immediately. As of now, I haven’t heard anything from my son.”

Ege Cansu Sacikara and Emre Elci of VOA's Turkish service translated this video report.