Victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting
Family and friends are mourning the lost.
For some, the last words they shared with loved ones were frantic texts: “He’s coming, I’m going to die.” For others, there were no last words, only waiting for the dreaded confirmation of an unthinkable reality: that their son, daughter, spouse or partner had been killed in the rain of gunfire at Pulse nightclub, where a gunman killed 49 people in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Below are glimpses into these lives that were cut short so suddenly in the early hours of June 12. We are updating our list with stories as we learn more about these men and women.
Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Rosalie Ramos prepared cheese and tomato dip for her son to eat after returning from Pulse night club, thinking he might come home hungry.
Stanley Almodovar never came home.
At 2 a.m., Ramos, 51, was awakened by a frantic phone call, urging her to get to the club as quickly as she could. She had hoped that her son’s injuries were minor — but they were not. Almodovar, a pharmacy technician, had been shot three times: in the stomach, head and side.
Almadovar posted a Snapchat video of himself singing and laughing on his way to Pulse nightclub, his mother Rosalie Ramos told the Orlando Sentinel.
“I wish I had that video to remember him forever,” said Ramos.
Amanda Alvear, 25
"If someone is strong enough to bring you down, show them you are strong enough to get up". #findingmynewhappiness#blessed#takingitdaybyday#keepingmystrengthup#hopeful
A photo posted by Amanda Alvear (@thisgirl_90) on May 27, 2016 at 9:40am PDT
Amanda Alvear was full of love, her brother Brian Alvear told the Orlando Sentinel.
“She wouldn’t want anyone to spread hate for her,” her brother said. “She’d rather they spread more love, keep friends and family close, and have a good time doing it.”
Alvear loved to have fun and felt that gay clubs provided her with a fun and safe environment to be herself.
Alvear, who had recently undergone gastric bypass surgery and started partaking in daily workouts, loved to post selfies, especially transformation selfies, on Instagram.
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
Oscar Aracena-Montero returned from a vacation to New York and Canada with his partner, Simon Carrillo, on Saturday, just hours before the shooting at Pulse nightclub, Aracena-Montero’s cousin Yamilka Pimentel told the Orlando Sentinel.
Johanna Bornacelli, a colleague of Carrillo’s, told the Florida-based newspaper that Aracena-Montero and Carrillo were both students at Ana G. Méndez University System, a bilingual college in Orlando.
“Oscar was a very sweet guy. Very sweet to everybody,” Pimentel told the Sentinel. “Every time he met somebody, they would like him a lot. He was the type of guy who goes along with anybody.”
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
A native of Puerto Rico, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33, was a biologics assistant at the OneBlood donation center. The blood bank where Ayala-Ayala worked was flooded with donors on Sunday after the shooting in an effort to respond to blood shortages in the Orlando area. Kelly Gollert, who worked at OneBlood, told People magazine that Ayala-Ayala was a “vibrant” person.
“He was very dedicated to his work and had very high expectations for his team because what we do is in service to patients, and he was very proud of that,” Gollert said. “But he was also a very supportive and loving person.”
Antonio Davon Brown, 29
Antonio Brown, 29, was a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves and a graduate of Florida Army and Military University. A human resources officer at an area home improvement store after a yearlong deployment to Kuwait in 2010 and 2011, he was remembered as humble and disciplined.
“He was a very positive young man,” Lt. Col. Kevin Scott, one of Brown’s ROTC instructors at the university, told the Army Times. “He kept a smile on his face. He was a very positive person with a very good sense of humor. He was willing to work very hard to earn his commission.”
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Darryl Burt worked at Keiser University in Jacksonville, Fla., where he was also an active volunteer within the community.
Burt joined the Jacksonville Jaycees, a group dedicated to personal, professional and community improvement, at the end of last year.
“He was personable, social and easygoing,” Shawn DeVries, president of the Jacksonville Jaycees, told the Orlando Sentinel. “Both socially and professionally, he was always interested in making a positive impact on people’s lives and in the community.”
Burt began his managerial career at 18 as a district manager for McDonald’s. He worked his way up the corporate ladder, most recently working as a financial aid officer for Keiser University in Orlando, specializing in working with military veterans.
Angel Luis Candelario-Padro, 28
A native of Guánica, Puerto Rico, Angel Candelario-Padro recently moved from Chicago to Orlando. The 28-year-old had started a new job at the Florida Retina Institute as an ophthalmic technician only days before the shooting. He had previously served in the National Guard and loved music.
“A lot of people know our family in Guánica and are showing a lot of support in this tough time,” his uncle, Efrain Padro, told the Associated Press. “We’re waiting for his body to be brought home. We will welcome him with music.”
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
According to his Facebook profile, Luis Capo was a dancer. He danced professionally, but also for fun — his friends recorded Snapchat videos of him dancing at Pulse nightclub late Saturday night, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old#PrayForOrlando pic.twitter.com/5omFvXWPZf
— ↠ kelsea ↠ (@kelseaaamarieee) June 13, 2016
Simon Carrillo’s keen eye for detail was reflected in his leadership style, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“He was definitely the description of a leader, not a boss,” Amanda Herrera, one of Carrillo’s co-workers at McDonald’s, told the Florida-based newspaper on Monday.
Indeed, Carrillo never forgot an employee’s birthday — he always brought in cakes and photographed the celebration, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Many of Carrillo’s co-workers revered him for his work ethic and money management skills.
Ivonne Irizarry, a general manager at McDonald’s who had once worked with Carrillo, told the Orlando Sentinel that Carrillo was adept at budgeting so that he could travel.
Carrillo and his partner, Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, who also died in the nightclub on Sunday morning, lived together in Kissimmee. The two had just returned from a vacation to the Niagara Falls.
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25
Martinez, originally from Huichapan, Mexico, lived in Davenport, Fla., but worked in Kissimmee, Fla., as a hotel housekeeping supervisor, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Chavez Martinez, who was identified by authorities as Juan Chevez-Martinez, was one of three Mexican nationals killed early Sunday morning, according to Pedro Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Mexican consulate in Orlando. Rodriguez also said that the Mexican government is working to provide financial assistance to the victims’ families.
In the meantime, Coorin Mata, a friend and co-worker, has set up a GoFundMe, “Funeral Juan Chavez Victima pulse,” to help pay for the cost of sending Martinez’s body back to his family.
Luis Daniel Conde, 39, and Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Luis Conde and Juan Rivera were not only partners, but also business partners, co-owning D’Magazine Salon & Spa in Kissimmee for 10 years, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“They were both exceptional people,” Lynette Conde, Luis’s sister, nulltold the Tampa Bay Times. “They were always helping each other.”
Many of their friends and family lamented the loss of the couple on social media.
“Se fuerón juntos como la pareja que son,” wrote Pipo Pere, which roughly translates to “They left like the couple they are.”
Cory James Connell, 21
Cory Connell’s brothers called him the “superhero” of their family, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The Florida newspaper reported that many of his teachers and peers remembered Connell as kind and hardworking.
According to his Facebook profile, Connell was working at a Publix supermarket in Orlando, where he also attended Valencia College.
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Tevin Crosby was “very ambitious,” according to his brother Chavis Crosby. Crosby, who owned his own marketing firm, Total Entrepreneurs Concepts, posted many inspirational memes to his Facebook page.
The North Carolina native had moved to Michigan but was visiting friends and family in Florida when he was fatally shot at the Pulse nightclub on Saturday night.
“He was definitely a good person and a good brother to me,” Chavis Crosby told the Florida newspaper.
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Drayton worked at Pulse, according to a Facebook post written by her aunt Patricia Banks. Photo of Drayton on Banks’ Facebook page here.
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Everything “feels very quiet” without Fernandez’s once-constant singing, Yolanda Quinones-Perez, Fernandez’s friend and manager at Auvers Village, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Fernandez was energetic and loved to perform — he loved choreographing dances and singing to Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Adele songs according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Mercedez Flores studied literature at Valencia College and hoped to pursue a career in party planning, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The easygoing, music-loving young woman was with her friend Amanda Alvear at Pulse when they were fatally shot.
“Whenever I was in the car with her, she always had the music blasting, and I guess she got the love of music from my father and uncle, who are DJs,” her niece Jennifer Flores said in an email to the Sentinel. “She was just a really fun nice person and cared a lot about her friends. She really did live her life the way she wanted to.”
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Peter Gonzalez-Cruz’s Facebook profile resembles the typical millennial’s Facebook page: selfies with Snapchat filters, photos with friends and the occasional artistic picture of nature. Gonzalez-Cruz, whose friends called him Ommy, even had a profile picture with the rainbow-colored gay pride flag superimposed over his face, in honor of the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.
But on Sunday, Peter Ommy’s Facebook profile underwent a drastic change: His listing now appears as “Remembering Peter Ommy.” He was a native of South Africa who attended high school in New Jersey as recently as 2013. More recently, he worked at UPS in Orlando.
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
First picture of the year. Happy 2016
A photo posted by Juan Guerrero (@juang0628) on Jun 6, 2016 at 7:03pm PDT
Juan Guerrero’s Instagram account is full of pictures taken with his boyfriend, Christopher Leinonen, and with friends and family. Guerrero was shot at Pulse early Sunday morning, but Leinonen, who was with Guerrero at the club, was the last victim whose identity was confirmed, on Monday.
Robert Guerrero, Juan’s cousin, told the Associated Press that Juan was initially hesitant to come out to his family as gay — he was fearful of their reaction. However, when he finally came out at the end of last year, his family embraced him and his boyfriend. All they cared about was their son’s happiness.
“He was never the type to go out to parties, would rather stay home and care for his niece and nephew,” Robert Guerrero said of his cousin.
Juan had previously worked as a telemarketer and had recently started school at the University of Central Florida, Robert Guerrero said.
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
The Chicago native was a proud family man, his boyfriend Francisco Hernandez told the Orlando Sentinel, and one of his two daughters, Alexia, had recently graduated from high school.
“I miss him. I love him,” Hernandez said. “I took care of him, and he took care of me. Such a loving spirit. I’ll always have him in my heart.”
Frank Hernandez Escalante, 27
Frank Hernandez had lived in Orlando for three years, and worked at a local Calvin Klein store. On learning of the shooting from Hernandez’s boyfriend, his younger sister Julissa Leal embarked on a 12-hour drive from her home in Louisiana to Orlando in an effort to find her brother, the Miami Herald reported.
“I don’t want to believe it, but he’s gone,” Leal told a local TV station. “There’s nothing we can do now.”
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Miguel Honorato, a father of three, most recently updated his Facebook page on May 12 to show his support of Club América, the American soccer team playing in La Liga.
His Facebook profile had recently been inactive, but his brother Jose’s timeline has been inundated with posts expressing grief, with new posts added regularly.
“My condolences Jose for you and your family may god give you strength and resignation,” one friend wrote on Jose’s timeline, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
In the midst of the chaos at Pulse early Sunday morning, Josaphat called his mother from the nightclub. She instructed him to hide in the bathroom while she called 911. As he stayed on the line, his mother, Myrlande Bébé, heard the sound of gunshots grow nearer. That was her last conversation with her son.
Josaphat was among the youngest of the victims in the Sunday morning shooting. Christopher Long, Josaphat’s uncle, told the Orlando Sentinel that he was studying computer science at Valencia College in Orlando but was interested in other subjects, especially photography.
Josaphat had just graduated from Southern Technical College’s business office specialist program. Martin Levert, the college’s executive director, told the Orlando Sentinel that Southern Technical College will host a blood drive with OneBlood at the Florida Mall in Josaphat’s honor.
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
“He was a wonderful makeup artist, a great friend and a hard worker,” Edith Colon, a friend of Javier Jorge-Reyes, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Jorge-Reyes went by Harvey George Kings, the English translation of his name, on Facebook.
Jorge-Reyes’ friends remember him for his “energy,” “sass” and “flair,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. The Gucci salesman was outgoing.
“He liked to go out,” Jose Diaz, a friend who Jorge-Reyes actually sold a wallet to, told the Orlando Sentinel. “He was proud to be Latino, superproud.”
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
some of the last words eddie justice sent before his life was taken. w/every story, my heart breaks a little more. pic.twitter.com/cAOka2MSKP
— Sebastian Castro 史太保 (@Seb_Castro) June 13, 2016
Trapped in the bathroom of Pulse night club with the active shooter, Eddie Justice exchanged a now viral, heartbreaking series of text messages with his mother, Mina Justice.
“Mommy, I love you,” was the first. His mother received it at 2:06 a.m.
The text message exchange spanned 45 minutes.
“Is the man in the bathroom wit u?” she asked her son.
“He’s a terror,” he responded at 2:50.
A minute later, Justice would receive a final text from her son: “Yes.”
Justice told the Associated Press that her son, an accountant who lived in downtown Orlando, liked to eat and work out.
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25
Anthony Laureano Disla started dancing at a young age. “He was very talented,” his cousin Ana Figueroa told the Orlando Sentinel. “He started dancing when he was about 10 years old. It was his passion.”
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Laureano Disla studied communications at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón. He moved to Florida to pursue his dream of being a dancer and choreographer before graduating.
He invited Figueroa to go out dancing on Saturday night, but she declined, offering to go another night.
Laureano Disla’s mother and father flew to Florida from Puerto Rico on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
Christopher Leinonen, 32
A photo posted by Dru™ (@thedruproject) on May 25, 2016 at 12:23pm PDT
Christopher Leinonen, 32, was not officially accounted for until Monday, when his mother, Christine Leinonen, told ABC News that she had been notified that her son was among the dead. She told the Orlando Sentinel that he had won the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for his work in the gay community.
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Luis Wilson-Leon and Daniel Gmys-Casiano were childhood friends of nearly 20 years.
“We grew up in a really small town in Puerto Rico… and he was going to same church that I was, and he was always the odd man out. He was bullied constantly. He was different. He would dress in black, wear long sideburns,” Gmys-Casiano told the Orlando Sentinel.
Wilson-Leon was the first person Gmys-Casiano came out to, not knowing at the time that Wilson-Leon himself was gay.
Wilson-Leon had been dating Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, another victim in Sunday’s shooting, for about eight years.
“He’s been dealing with hate all his life. We all have. I have. He never retaliated with hate. He was a very loving person. He was strong. He would stand to protect his friends,” Gmys-Casiano said.
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Martinez, a Cuba native, had recently moved to Florida and was still learning to speak English, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Sarrai Torres, a friend of Martinez’s, told the Florida newspaper that Martinez was always smiling and positive. Torres, who identifies as straight, also said she often went to Pulse nightclub with Martinez and enjoyed spending time there.
“When you went in there, you would come out feeling like you had new friends,” said Torres, who was not with Martinez at the club early Sunday morning.
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
The mother of 12 was at Pulse with her 21-year-old son Isaiah Henderson, a spot the pair frequented, McCool’s daughter told NBC News. When McCool saw Omar Mateen brandishing a weapon, she told Henderson to get down, the Daily News reported. McCool blocked the shot, so while Henderson survived, his mother did not.
Marquez McCool twice beat cancer and moved around the country, eventually settling in Florida. She lived there with six of her children, according to the NBC story.
“She was a fighter,” childhood friend Noreen Vaquer told the Orlando Sentinel. “She doesn’t take nothing from nobody.”
Kimberly Morris, 37
Kimberly “KJ” Morris had moved to Orlando from Hawaii just two months before the shooting, to be closer to her mother and grandmother. Morris had taken a job as a bouncer at Pulse nightclub, where she enjoyed working and becoming involved in the local LGBTQ community, her ex-girlfriend Starr Shelton told the Orlando Sentinel.
Shelton, 35, and Morris were together for over a year but recently ended their relationship, when Shelton moved to San Francisco to attend school.
“She was such a great person, and so full of life,” Shelton told the Orlando Sentinel. “I can truly say heaven has gained an angel.”
Narvell Benning attended Post University, a private university in Connecticut, with Morris and kept in touch with his basketball teammate over the years. He echoed Shelton’s sentiments.
“I just remember after every single game, she would give me a fist bump and tell me, ‘Good game,'” Benning, 38, said. “It didn’t matter how bad of a game it was, she was always there.”
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
A honors student who recently graduated from high school in Philadelphia, Akyra Murray, 18, was slated to head to Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., in the fall on a basketball scholarship. Her school, West Catholic Prep, said in a statement that Murray and her family were in Orlando celebrating her graduation and visiting her brother.
“Akyra was a respectful and self-determined young woman who served as a natural leader to her teammates and all that observed her from afar,” her basketball coach, Beulah Osueke, said in the statement.
Her mother, Natalie, told the Associated Press that she received a text from her daughter at 2 a.m. informing her of the shooting and pleading her to pick her up from the club. Minutes later, Murray called back saying she had been shot.
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Eric Ortiz came to Florida from Puerto Rico in search of a better life.
He pursued a career in merchandise management, initially for Toys “R” Us and then for Ross. He had a bachelor’s degree in communications from the Universidad Central de Bayamón, his friend Abismel Colón Gomez told the Orlando Sentinel.
“I am really in shock that he was in the club, because he was not usually a club-scene person,” Colón Gomez said. “The only reason he went was because there was a house-warming party for our friend. And Eric was like his mentor.”
Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, 27
“[Jean] cared more about others than about himself,” Valeria Monroig, Jean Rodriguez’s sister, told the Orlando Sentinel. He had bought a house a month and a half before the shooting, because he wanted to provide his mother with a nice place to live.
Nieves Rodriguez was a hard worker who cared about others, his friends and family told the Florida newspaper.
Jean Perez found love behind the perfume counter he worked at. His humor and warmth made him Perfumania’s best salesman, and it introduced him to the love of his life — Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon.
The two met at Perfumania one day, and then reconnected at a nightclub shortly thereafter, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The couple loved to go out dancing, and Pulse was one of their go-to spots. Both Leon and Perez were among the casualties.
Perez valued looking good and smelling good — he worked out nearly every day and was always trying out different perfumes from Perfumania, according to a co-worker, Claudia Agudelo.
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Friends and family remember Joel Rayon Paniagua as a humble, cheerful and religious person who did his best to cheer people up, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Lorena Barragan, a friend of Rayon Paniagua’s, told the Florida newspaper that Rayon Paniagua loved dancing and had anticipated a fun night out at Pulse on Saturday.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Rayon Paniagua grew up in Veracruz, Mexico, moving to Ocoee, Fla., in the early 2000s. Rayon Paniagua, Barragan reported, had recently moved back and forth between Florida and Mexico to be with family.
Most recently, Rayon Paniagua was working in construction in Florida so that he could send money to his family in Mexico, the newspaper reported.
Enrique Rios, 25
Enrique Rios, a Brooklyn-based social worker, was in Florida for the weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday when he was fatally shot at Pulse nightclub.
Rios’ mother, Gertrude Merced, said she could not allow herself to believe her son was dead solely because his wallet was found on his body.
“Until I view my son for myself, I have hope that maybe there was a mistake. Maybe it wasn’t him,” she told the Daily News.
Eric Perez, the victim’s uncle, described Rios, who was studying to be a nurse while working as a social worker for the elderly, as a “good kid.”
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, and Luis Daniel Conde, 39
Luis Conde and Juan Rivera were not only partners, but co-owned D’Magazine Salon & Spa in Kissimmee for 10 years, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
“They were both exceptional people,” Lynette Conde, Luis’s sister, told the Tampa Bay Times. “They were always helping each other.”
Many of their friends and family lamented the loss of the couple on social media.
“Se fuerón juntos como la pareja que son,” wrote Pipo Pere, which roughly translates to “They left like the couple they are.”
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24
Yilmary Solivan was a loving mother of two boys, Jariel and Sergio, her sister Natalia wrote in a GoFundMe post shortly after the attack.
“Mary was an amazing daughter and an extraordinary sister! She was the most loving and caring person you could ever meet, her smile lit up the room and her laughter brought a smile to your heart!” the post said.
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
Antonia Doric, a friend of Xavier Rosado’s, paid him a heartfelt tribute on Facebook.
Rosado danced professionally for Disney Live! and inspired others, friends said. “Coming from a place where I was ashamed to be gay, watching… performers like Xavier helped me come out of my shell,” Matt Molandes, a friend, told NPR. “Xavier lived in his truth, he was always happy even on days he wasn’t.”
Rosado is survived by one son.
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
Christopher Sanfeliz worked at a Tampa bank, starting as a teller before working his way up to becoming a personal banker, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Sanfeliz’s Facebook shows a smiling young man; a recent profile picture showed him with a woman who appeared to be his mother, with the caption “I love Mom.”
A former classmate told the Times that Sanfeliz was “the most positive guy I’ve ever known.”
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Gilberto Menendez grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to Orlando a few years ago, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and was studying health care management at the Orlando campus of Ana G. Mendez University.
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Edward Sotomayor worked as a national brand manager for ALandCHUCK.travel, a travel agency that primarily serves the gay community, according to his social media profiles.
Sotomayor, a Sarasota resident, was revered as an industry leader. He had a passion for travel and had recently organized and attended the first-ever gay cruise to Cuba in April, his boss Al Ferguson told the Orlando Sentinel.
“What I will say, over and over again, [is] he was a person who said, ‘We cannot be afraid,'” Ferguson told the Orlando Sentinel. “I know his friends are going to be the exact same way. … We are not going to be afraid.”
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Shane Tomlinson “was destined for a grand stage, and he was doing exactly what he wanted to do,” Dr. Lathan Turner, the associate director of student transitions at Eastern Carolina University, Tomlinson’s alma mater, told the Charlotte Observer.
Tomlinson was the charismatic frontman of Frequency, a cover band that performed at weddings and clubs. The band had performed at Orlando nightclub Blue Martini on Saturday night.
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
According to a statement released by a university spokeswoman, Martin Torres was one of several students from Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez in San Juan, Puerto Rico, who were fatally shot at Pulse early Sunday morning. Torres was visiting family in Orlando for the weekend and had extensively documented the time he spent with family on social media, including the meals they shared and sights they saw.
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Jonathan Camuy moved from Puerto Rico to Florida to work on a popular children’s game show produced by NBCUniversal.
Camuy, a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, was a producer for Telemundo’s La Voz Kids — a show comparable to NBC’s “The Voice.”
A story written in Spanish on Telemundo’s website says Camuy was “loving, talented and with a great promising future,” the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
The oldest of the victims and a native of Puerto Rico, Franky Velazquez was a professional jibaro dancer, engaging in the folk dance native to his home country.
He graduated from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico and worked at Forever 21 as a visual merchandiser.
“Wherever Jimmy would go, Jimmy had people loving him,” a friend, Wanda Soto, told the Orlando Sentinel. “He was an uncle, a brother, best friend. Jimmy was Jimmy.”
Luis S. Vielma, 22
According to a statement by the Seminole State College released Monday, Luis Vielma was an emergency medical services student.
Vielma, who worked for Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter, was known for his pleasant attitude and warm demeanor.
Vielma is warmly remembered by his friends, who said everyone loved him.
“He was always a friend you could call. He was always open and available,” Josh Boesch, a co-worker, told the Associated Press.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling commented on his death:
Luis Vielma worked on the Harry Potter ride at Universal. He was 22 years old. I can't stop crying. #Orlando pic.twitter.com/Nz2ZCWxNsS
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 13, 2016
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
Jerald Wright was celebrating his friend Cory James Connell’s 21st birthday at Pulse nightclub on Saturday night, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“He was one of the kindest people you could meet,” former co-worker Kenneth Berrios told the Orlando Sentinel.
Wright was a seasonal employee at Disney World who worked mostly in merchandising in the Magic Kingdom, according to Scott Dickison, a former Disney co-worker.
This is a developing story; keep checking for updates. Andrew Bahl also contributed to this story.
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