Orlando shooting victims

+-

Here are photos of the 49 victims killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016.

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
He was an outgoing person who "always had a smile on his face," his friend Sarai Torres recalled to the Orlando Sentinel. Martinez had just moved from his native Cuba to Florida and was still working to master English, she said.

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
The mother of two was at the club with her brother-in-law and a friend, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, who died while trying to protect her, the Orlando Sentinel reported. "My friend Jonathan A. Camuy you died like a hero," the brother-in-law, William Borges, wrote in Spanish on Facebook.
Rodriguez Solivan and her family lived in Kissimmee, according to the Sentinel.

Geraldo Antonio Ortiz-Jimenez, 25

Geraldo Antonio Ortiz-Jimenez, 25, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook / Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez)

Geraldo Antonio Ortiz-Jimenez, 25, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
The University of Puerto Rico student loved to dance to pop, reggaetón and other kinds of music, his family said. He loved pop star Selena Gomez, and traveled from his home in Puerto Rico to Orlando to see her for the first time in concert on Friday. Ortiz-Jimenez went to Pulse the next night.
"I talked to him every day . . . he was more than my uncle. He was like one of my best friends," said his niece Tiffany Ortiz, 23, of Brentwood.
When family members couldn't reach him after the shooting, they drove from Reading, Pennsylvania, to Orlando, praying he survived, said his sister Grisel Ortiz, 41, of Reading.
"It's just a crazy way to lose a person that you care so much about," she said.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a former girlfriend said Drayton had had some "issues" in life, but began going to church and adopted a different group of friends. The paper said Drayton's aunt, Patricia Drayton Banks, commemorated her niece on her Facebook page Monday. "R.I.P Dee Dee. You know this Auntie will miss you."

Cory James Connell, 21

Cory James Connell, 21, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Cory James Connell, 21, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Connell was a graduate of Edgewater High School in Florida, and according to his Facebook page, was working at an Orlando Publix and studying at Valencia College.

Christopher Sanfeliz, 24

Christopher Sanfeliz, 24, has been identified as one
(Credit: Facebook)

Christopher Sanfeliz, 24, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Sanfeliz worked at a bank in Tampa.

Christopher Leinonen, 32

Christine Leinonen drove to Orlando at 4 a.m.
(Credit: Facebook)

Christine Leinonen drove to Orlando at 4 a.m. Sunday from Polk County, southwest of the city, after learning of the shooting from a friend of her 32-year-old son, Christopher Leinonen.
Her son, who the Orlando Sentinel said earned bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology at the University of Central Florida, had gone to the club with his friend Brandon Wolf when the shooting started, she said. Wolf texted that a shooting occurred and that her son was missing.
She arrived in Orlando and began checking emergency rooms to find her son. She never did, and his death was confirmed on Monday.
"These are nonsensical killings of our children," she said, sobbing. "They're killing our babies!"
She said Wolf survived by hiding in a bathroom and running out as the bullets flew.

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, has been identified
(Credit: Facebook)

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
McCool was a two-time cancer survivor, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and had moved between New Jersey and Florida in recent years. Recently, the paper said, she had decided to become a real estate agent and was taking classes.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26

Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Aracena-Montero, who a Facebook posting said was originally from the Dominican Republic, and his partner, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31, were both killed in the attack.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, he and Carrillo Fernandez had just returned from a trip to New York and Canada.

Rodolfo Ayala, 33

Rodolfo Ayala, 33, has been identified as one
(Credit: Facebook)

Rodolfo Ayala, 33, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ayala was a native of Puerto Rico, and worked at a local blood donation center, and had purchased a car and home in the past year.

Frank Hernandez, 27

Frank Hernandez, 27, has been identified as one
(Credit: Facebook)

Frank Hernandez, 27, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Hernandez moved to Florida from Louisiana three years ago, and managed a Calvin Klein store. His family still lives in Lafayette, La.

Amanda Alvear, 25

Amanda Alvear, 25, from Polk County, has been
(Credit: Facebook)

Amanda Alvear, 25, from Polk County, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Alvear had recently shed 180 pounds due to gastric bypass surgery and workouts, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and was from nearby Polk County. She worked as a pharmacy technician and wanted to be a nurse.

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25, has been identified as one
(Credit: Facebook)

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, on Facebook, Chevez-Martinez listed his hometown as Huichapan, Mexico, and he worked as a housekeeping supervisor for APDC Services, a staffing company partner of Reunion Resorts.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE

Martin Benitez Torres, 33

Martin Benitez Torres, 33, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Martin Benitez Torres, 33, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Torres had just arrived from Puerto Rico to visit family in Florida before the shootings, the Orlando Sentinel said, and was a student at Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez in San Juan.

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26

Mercedez Marisol Flores went to Pulse nightclub almost
(Credit: Facebook)

Mercedez Marisol Flores went to Pulse nightclub almost every weekend, Flores' sister-in-law said Monday, often with her best friend Amanda Alvear. Both women died in the shooting.
"She was very outgoing," Nancy Flores said of Mercedez Flores. "She had lots of friends. They used to always meet up at Pulse."
Born in Queens, New York, Flores, 26, moved to Florida when she was a child, her sister-in-law said. She worked at Target and studied at Valencia College, a local community college. She wanted to become a party planner so she could coordinate events with her two older brothers, who are both DJs.
Alvear, 25, had bonded with friend Sandy Marte over breakups and health problems. Marte said he was trying to comfort her after the breakup. She had lost a lot of weight following gastric bypass surgery and Marte encouraged her to socialize and enjoy life.
"She was loving, she was caring, she always had an open ear, she always wanted to help people," Marte said of his friend Alvear. "She had an amazing heart. She was a really good person."
Both women posted on Snapchat from the nightclub before the shooting.
Flores' family spent hours waiting at Orlando Regional Medical Center, then a staging area at a nearby hotel.
Someone came to read the names of victims still hospitalized or being released. Mercedez Flores' name wasn't on the list.
It wasn't until the early hours of Monday that her father got a call from the sheriff's office that his daughter had died, Nancy Flores said.
Marte said a post from Alvear on Snapchat showed a packed club full of revelers, flashing lights and thumping music. Then a selfie video of Alvear with a series of gunshots in the background.
Marte said he understands what it's like to be at a nightclub during a shooting. He was at the Glitz Ultra Lounge in Orlando in February when two people were killed. He said he froze in place from the shock of it.

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28

Angel Candelario-Padro moved to Orlando from Chicago in
(Credit: Facebook)

Angel Candelario-Padro moved to Orlando from Chicago in January to be closer to family.
The 28-year-old nurse from Guanica, Puerto Rico, soon found a new job as an ophthalmic technician and a new love.
"He was a humble boy, a good student. He liked to work and wasn't too much into partying," his aunt Leticia Padro told Univision.
But he made an exception Saturday night, when he and his boyfriend went to Pulse with friends.
Leticia Padro said her nephew's boyfriend, who was shot several times and is in the hospital, told her that after hearing several shots he turned to Candelario-Padro and asked if he was OK.
"He told him he was OK, but in that instant he fell to the floor," Padro said.
Minutes before the shooting, Candelario-Padro had posted a photo on Facebook that showed him smiling broadly while standing next to his boyfriend and two friends.
Candelario-Padro, who served in the National Guard, loved music and had played the clarinet in his hometown's band, Efrain Padro, an uncle who lives in Guanica, told The Associated Press.
"A lot of people know our family in Guanica and are showing a lot of support in this tough time," he said. "We're waiting for his body to be brought home. We will welcome him with music."

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Wright had worked at Walt Disney World, according to the Orlando Sentinel, most recently in merchandising on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. He had also worked at Tomorrowland and Universal Studios, according to the paper, and attended Florida International University.

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, of Jacksonville, has
(Credit: Facebook)

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, of Jacksonville, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Burt was a member of the Jacksonville Jaycees, and worked as a financial aid officer at Keiser University in Fort Laurderdale. He had gone to Orlando to celebrate earning a degree in human resources management, the paper said.

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30

Jose Honorato wrote a simple, heartfelt message on
(Credit: Facebook)

Jose Honorato wrote a simple, heartfelt message on his brother's Facebook page Sunday: "Come home bro, I'm waiting for you."
Miguel Angel Honorato did not survive the shooting.
A father of three, among them a one and two-year-old, Miguel Honorato, 30, managed four restaurants in central Florida along with a catering business on the side and was always the one to drop everything to help out his family, which included seven siblings.
"He was my mentor and my supporter. He helped very much in my parent's house and work," Jose Honorato said. Even though Miguel was younger he was the one who gave sage advice about the family business, his brother said.
Jose Honorato changed his Facebook photo Monday to one of the two brothers smiling over a charcoal grill, one of many happy memories cooking together.

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25

Tevin Eugene Crosby's inspirational posts on Facebook --
(Credit: Facebook)

Tevin Eugene Crosby's inspirational posts on Facebook -- "2016 will be the best year ever" -- represented his drive for success.
Chavis Crosby, told the Orlando Sentinel that his brother was ambitious and hard-working. "Whatever goal he had in mind, he worked hard. Whether alone or on a team, he worked on that goal."
Tevin Crosby, 25, was director of operations for a Michigan marketing firm. He recently visited his family in Statesville, North Carolina, to watch several nieces and nephews graduate. Then he traveled to Orlando after passing along some brotherly advice about business and setting goals. He loved to travel for work and fun, Chavis Crosby said.
"He was definitely a good person and a good brother to me," he said.

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25

Leroy Valentin Fernandez recently had found a job
(Credit: Facebook)

Leroy Valentin Fernandez recently had found a job as a leasing agent for an Orlando apartment complex, said his friend, Jennifer Rodriguez. "He had finally found something he liked. He was taking care of his mom," she said.
He was her hair stylist and became one of her best friends, she said. "He was like a brother," she said. "He was just really very spirited and always happy, you know?"
Fernandez, 25, recently had been dating an older man, a dancer known by the stage name Eman Valentino. That dancer was Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, who also died and left behind a young son who had graduated from pre-kindergarten earlier this month.
"I have no words to express how proud and happy I am of my little boy," Rosado, 35, wrote on Facebook recently about his son.
A friend described Rosado as hard-working, talkative and friendly. Said Yemil Royce: "He was a lovely friend, brother and father."
A YouTube video shows him dancing as an elegantly dressed Eman Valentino at the Orlando club Parliament House. He wears a cape, tie and gloves and collects tips from the audience between high kicks and spins.

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24

Jonathan Camuy, 25, moved to Central Florida from
(Credit: Facebook)

Jonathan Camuy, 25, moved to Central Florida from his native Puerto Rico to work for the Spanish-language television network Telemundo.
He was on the production team for "La Voz Kids," a talent show for young singers in its fourth season. He had previously worked for the network in Puerto Rico.
"Jonathan was an extremely hard-working individual, full of life, enthusiastic and with a great personality," the network said in a statement. "He will be missed dearly."
Camuy was also active in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, which called him "one of our own" in a statement about his death.

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo wanted to be a star.
(Credit: Facebook)

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo wanted to be a star. The 20-year-old dancer was working at Starbucks inside a Kissimmee Target store while studying theater, and would have auditioned on Tuesday for a play, said his sister, Belinette Ocasio-Capo.
"He was one of the most amazing dancers," she said. "He would always call me and say, 'I'm going to be the next Hollywood star.' He really did want to make it and be known.
"Now his name ended up being all around the world, like he wanted -- just not this way."
Omar, as he was known to family and friends, seemed brash to Claudia Mason, 70, who worked with him at Starbucks. But after getting to know her much younger co-worker, "I realized he had a very outgoing personality," Mason said. "His sense of humor was definitely his defining personality trait."
Ocasio-Capo, who grew up in Nashville, Tenn., according to the Orlando Sentinel, was hired as a cashier before moving over to the Starbucks, and became a great barista, Mason said.
"Omar got along with everyone. Young, old, male, female, gay, or straight, it didn't matter to Omar," she said.

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
An Orlando native, Josaphat had just completed Southern Technical College's business office specialist program, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, has been identified as one
(Credit: Facebook)

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Jorge-Reyes was a native of Puerto Rico, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and worked at the Gucci store in an Orlando mall.

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25, started dancing at
(Credit: Facebook)

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25, started dancing at the age of 10 and was comfortable with any number of styles, from salsa to ballroom, his cousin Ana Figueroa said.
Figueroa told the Orlando Sentinel that he had texted her Saturday inviting her out for a night of dancing at Pulse nightclub. She responded that she was too tired.
He was out with two roommates, both of whom were injured in the shooting, she said. The newspaper did not identify the roommates.
Born in Puerto Rico, Laureano Disla moved to Orlando about three years ago to become a dancer and choreographer, Figueroa told the newspaper.
"I want people to remember Anthony as someone who was very happy and very kind," Figueroa said. "This is just devastating for our family and his friends."

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33

Singing was Shane Tomlinson's passion. He had just
(Credit: Facebook)

Singing was Shane Tomlinson's passion. He had just performed as the lead vocalist with The Frequency Band on Saturday night at Blue Martini club before going to Pulse, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"He was destined for a grand stage and he was doing exactly what he wanted to do," said Dr. Lathan Turner, associate director of student transitions at Eastern Carolina University, where Tomlinson graduated in 2003 with a degree in communication.
Tomlinson, 33, was a vibrant and charismatic lead vocalist for the band, performing at night clubs and weddings in the Orlando area.
"I've never met anyone like him," said Carey Sobel, an Orlando resident who hired Tomlinson's band to play for his upcoming wedding. "He was really special."
Tarrick Cox, an adviser for Eastern Carolina's gospel choir who worked with Tomlinson when he was a member, remembers his contagious personality and the laughter that surrounded him.
"He was gifted and creative. He was a go-getter," Cox said in a statement from the university.

Enrique L. Rios Jr., 25

Gertrude Merced says that even though her heart
(Credit: Facebook)

Gertrude Merced says that even though her heart is broken at the death of her 25-year-old son Enrique Rios, she has already forgiven the gunman.
Rios, who lived in Brooklyn, was in Orlando to celebrate a friend's birthday.
"I'm not angry at the gunman. I'm angry about the situation. I'm going to forever miss my son ... but I still have the hope that I'm going to see him again one day," Merced told reporters outside her New York apartment as she got ready to head to Florida.
Rios' Facebook page says he worked with a home health care agency and his mother said he had a heart for helping the elderly. He transferred to St. Francis College in Brooklyn last year where he was studying social work.
Family and friends said he was determined, always helping others and had a heart of gold.

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, has been identified
(Credit: Facebook)

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Perez and his partner, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, were both killed in the attack. Perez was a native of Puerto Rico, according to the paper, and worked at Perfumania at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets.

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice tapped out a series of
(Credit: Twitter)

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice tapped out a series of chilling text messages to his mother from a bathroom at the Orlando nightclub. The 45-minute exchange began with a message of love.
"Mommy I love you," the first message to Mina Justice said at 2:06 a.m. The messages became more frantic as he confirmed to her that the shooter was in the bathroom where he was hiding.
"He's a terror," her son said.
Eddie Justice, 30, was normally a homebody who liked to eat and work out, his mother said. He liked to make everyone laugh. He worked as an accountant and lived in a condo in downtown Orlando.
"Lives in a sky house, like the Jeffersons," his mother said she liked to say, referring to the TV sitcom about a family living in a hi-rise.

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 -- known among family
(Credit: Facebook)

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 -- known among family and friends as "Ommy" -- was always the life of the party.
"Peter makes a difference everywhere he goes. He was a happy person. If Peter is not at the party, no one wants to go," his aunt, Sonia Cruz, said.
Gonzalez-Cruz, who worked at UPS, went to Pulse on Saturday night with his best friend, 25-year-old Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez. After news of the mass shooting emerged, Cruz said she held out hope for hours that her nephew would turn up in a hospital bed.
But late Sunday afternoon, she was told he was among those killed at the club.
Friend Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez also died in the shooting.
Silva grew up in Manati, Puerto Rico, and moved to Orlando a few years ago, his cousin Irma Silva-Lauer told the Orlando Sentinel. He was an only child and "the light and the life of all the family gatherings," Silva-Lauer said.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23

Stanley Almodovar III's mother had prepared a tomato-and-cheese
(Credit: Facebook)

Stanley Almodovar III's mother had prepared a tomato-and-cheese dip for him to eat when he came home from his night out.
Instead, Rosalie Ramos was awakened by a call at 2 a.m. Sunday telling her something had happened.
Ramos told the Orlando Sentinel her son, a pharmacy technician, posted a Snapchat video of himself singing and laughing on his way to Pulse nightclub.
"I wish I had that [video] to remember him forever," she told the newspaper.
A friend, Hazel Ramirez, told the Washington Post she also saw a video from Almodovar, 23, on Snapchat and learned Sunday afternoon what had happened.
Ramirez described Almodovar as "kind, but sassy," and someone who was comfortable with his own sexual identity.
"He was so proud of who he was," she told the Post. "He would do his makeup better than anyone else. It was so easy to be myself with him."

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34

Edward Sotomayor, 34, was a caring, energetic man
(Credit: Facebook)

Edward Sotomayor, 34, was a caring, energetic man known for wearing a silly top hat on cruises, according to David Sotomayor, who said the two discovered they were cousins after meeting at Orlando's annual Gay Days festival around a decade ago.
David Sotomayor, who lives in Chicago, told The Associated Press Sunday that Edward worked for a company that held gay cruises and often traveled to promote the company's events.
"He was just always part of the fun," David Sotomayor said.
The two texted regularly and kept in touch, last seeing each other earlier this year at a filming of the television reality show "RuPaul's Drag Race," David Sotomayor said.
David Sotomayor is a drag queen who appeared on a season of the show using the name "Jade." He said Edward Sotomayor supported him and often sent him Facebook messages. They last exchanged messages late last week.
"You never think that's going to be the last time you speak to him," David Sotomayor said. "It's just heartbreaking to know it just can happen anytime."

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, told his cousin Robert
(Credit: Facebook)

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, told his cousin Robert Guerrero he was gay about two years ago, but he was worried about how the rest of his family would react. He did not tell them until just before the beginning of this year. And when he did?
"They were very accepting," said Robert Guerrero, 19. "As long as he was happy, they were OK with it."
On Sunday morning, after learning that so many people had died at a gay nightclub, Pulse, that his cousin had gone to once in a while, Robert Guerrero started to become concerned. Later in the day, his fears were realized when the family learned that his cousin was identified as one of the victims.
Robert Guerrero said his cousin worked as a telemarketer and in recent months he started attending college at the University of Central Florida. His cousin didn't quite know what he wanted to study, but he was happy to be in school. And he was happy in a relationship with a person his relatives came to regard as a member of the family, Guerrero said.
"He was always this amazing person [and] he was like a big brother to me," he said of his cousin. "He was never the type to go out to parties, would rather stay home and care for his niece and nephew."

Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, 36

Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, 36, has been identified
(Credit: Facebook)

Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, 36, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Rivera was a native of Puerto Rico, according to the Orlando Sentinel, and worked as a merchandise manager for Toys "R" Us and Ross, and held a bachelor's degree in communications from Universidad Central de Bayamon.

Kimberly Morris, 37

Kimberly
(Credit: Facebook)

Kimberly "KJ" Morris, 37, moved to Orlando just months ago and had taken a job at Pulse nightclub as a bouncer, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"She was so excited," ex-girlfriend Starr Shelton told the newspaper. "She'd just started working there and told me how she was thrilled to get more involved in the LGBT community there," Shelton said.
Friends described Morris as a kind, sweet person.
Narvell Benning met Morris when they were in college at Post University in Waterbury, Conn., where Benning said they both played basketball.
"I can't think of a time when I did not see a smile on her face," Benning told the Sentinel. "I'm so thankful of the good memories I have of her. This is just unreal."
Liz Lamoureux, 34, of Walpole, Mass., told The Associated Press in a prepared statement Monday that Morris was one of her sister's very best friends and a true friend to her entire family.
Morris lived in Hawaii for about a year and then left a couple of months ago to help her mother and grandmother in Florida, Lamoureux said.
"I don't know if there are words to express my feelings on this tragedy," she said. "It is just so senseless. What did KJ die for? Being gay and going to work? It just makes no sense -- her life amounts to so much more than that."

Luis Vielma, 22

Everyone loved Luis Vielma, a 22-year-old who worked
(Credit: Facebook)

Everyone loved Luis Vielma, a 22-year-old who worked at Universal Studios, friends said.
High school friend Eddi Anderson told the Tampa Bay Times that Vielma loved his job at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and was known for his pleasant attitude and warm demeanor.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books that spawned the movies and Orlando theme park, tweeted a picture of Vielma in a Hogwarts school tie, and said: "I can't stop crying."
Josh Boesch, who worked with Vielma at Universal, told the Orlando Sentinel: "He was always a friend you could call. He was always open and available."
Vielma "just wanted to make people smile," another co-worker, Olga Glomba, said.

Paul Terrell Henry, 41

Paul Terrell Henry, 41, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Paul Terrell Henry, 41, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Henry loved his family -- he had two children -- and to dance and have fun, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"I miss him. I love him,'' his boyfriend Francisco Hernandez told the Sentinel. "I took care of him, and he took care of me. Such a loving spirit. I'll always have him in my heart."

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, was one of
(Credit: AP/ Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado)

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, was one of the people killed in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Rosado went by Eman Valentino on the stage. He dressed elegantly in a top hat, tie and gloves, collecting tips from the audience between high kicks and spins, according to a YouTube video.
Offstage, Rosado had a young son who had graduated from pre-kindergarten. "I have no words to express how proud and happy I am of my little boy," he wrote on Facebook recently about his son.
Yemil Royce, a friend, described Rosado as hard-working, talkative and friendly: "He was a lovely friend, brother and father."

Franky Jimmy De Jesus Velazquez, 50

Franky Jimmy De Jesus Velazquez, 50, has been
(Credit: AP / Franky Jimmy De Jesus Velazquez)

Franky Jimmy De Jesus Velazquez, 50, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016. His family plans to bury him in Puerto Rico, where he was originally from, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
"He was always telling me, 'I love you.' I still cannot believe what happened," his sister, Bernice De Jesus, told the newspaper. "He was a happy person, very humanitarian, always there when you needed him."

Luis Daniel Conde, 39

Luis Daniel Conde, has been identified as one
(Credit: AP/ Luis Daniel Conde)

Luis Daniel Conde, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Conde, 39, was from Puerto Rico and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, went to the same high school in Puerto Rico as Juan Pablo Rivera Velasquez, ran a beauty salon in Kissimmee with him, and on Sunday they died together in the Pulse nighclub massacre.

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27, has been identified
(Credit: Facebook)

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Rodriguez was originally from Puerto Rico. He was a general manager for a check-cashing store and a former manager of a McDonald's. He had recently bought a home.

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 31

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 31, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook / Joel Rayon)

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 31, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Paniagua was raised in Mexico. He had originally moved to Florida in the early 2000s, before returning to his home country and came back to the United States less than a year ago and lived near Tampa. He worked in construction and was sending money back home.

Akyra Murray, 18

Last Monday, Akyra Murray, who turned 18 in
(Credit: Facebook / West Catholic Prep)

Last Monday, Akyra Murray, who turned 18 in January, graduated third in her class of 42 students at West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia, where she had also been a 1,000-point scorer on the basketball team. She had recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Mercyhurst University in Erie.
"She was very loving, caring, out to help anybody," her mother, Natalie Murray, recalled.
To celebrate her graduation, Akyra, her parents and her 4-year-old sister traveled to Orlando for a family vacation.
On Saturday, Murray told her parents she wanted to party in downtown Orlando. They dropped her off at Pulse at 11:30 Saturday night.
At about 2 a.m., Akyra Murray sent a text message to her mother, saying that she and her cousins wanted to be picked up. She said there had been a shooting.
Moments later, the phone rang.
"She was saying she was shot and she was screaming, saying she was losing a lot of blood," Natalie Murray said.
Murray said her daughter was hiding in a bathroom stall, cowering from the shooter, her arm bleeding for hours with no medical treatment.
Akyra Murray told her mother to call police and send help.
They never spoke again. "It was devastating," Natalie Murray said.

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25, has been identified
(Credit: AP / Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez)

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Menendez grew up in Puerto Rico, and according to his Facebook page, he said he was studying health care management at the Ana G. Mendez University's Orlando campus.

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31, has been identified
(Credit: AP / Facebook)

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
He and his partner, Oscar Aracena-Montero, 26, were both killed in the attack.
Fernandez worked as a manager at a McDonald's, had bought a home in Kissimmee, Fla. in 2014 and recently had returned from a trip to Niagara Falls, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Antonio Davon Brown, 29

Antonio Davon Brown, 29, has been identified as
(Credit: AP / Facebook)

Antonio Davon Brown, 29, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016.
Capt. Brown, of the U.S. Army Reserve, was a "down-to-earth guy" who had been involved in the military since college.
Brown was a 2008 graduate of Florida A&M University. He was a criminal justice major from Cocoa Beach who took part in the school's ROTC program, the university said.
He joined the U.S. Army in 2008, just after finishing school, and was deployed to Kuwait from April 2010 until March 2011, according to U.S. Army Media Relations. He was made captain in March 2012 and was most recently a human resources officer in the Army Reserve.

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, has been identified
(Credit: AP / Juan P. Rivera Velazquez)

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Rivera Velazquez knew how to brighten a day at his hair salon Alta Peluqueria D'Magazine in Kissimmee, the Orlando Sentinel quoted some of his clients as saying. Velazquez owned the salon with Luis Daniel Conde, who was also killed Sunday. The couple had been together 16 years and owned the salon for about seven, the paper quoted friends as saying.

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37, has been identified as
(Credit: Facebook)

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37, has been identified as one of the people fatally shot at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Wilson-Leon grew up in Puerto Rico, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The paper quoted one of his friends, saying Wilson-Leon "moved to Vero Beach, alone, and knowing almost no English" and was quickly promoted to manager at a shoe store.

Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox.

Sign up

By clicking Sign up, you agree to our privacy policy.

Related Media

Melissa Soto hugs comfort dog Susie near a Photos: Latest on gunman, Orlando shooting Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and presumptive Politicians react to Florida nightclub attack Members of the LGBT community and other non-governmental Photos: World mourns Orlando shooting victims

Comments

Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy policy.

OK