Pulse shooting victims were from all walks of life

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A Universal Orlando employee, a man known for wearing a silly top hat on cruises, a telemarketer, a musician.

As grieving relatives and friends await word on those still missing after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, the identified victims from the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando are being remembered as caring, warm and proud.

The early Sunday tragedy at the popular gay club claimed the lives of at least 49 people. More than 25 others remain hospitalized.

Some were part of Central Florida’s nightlife and theme park crowd. Some were students or professionals. Some had moved to Orlando to make a better life or to help their families. Others were active in the gay community in Central Florida.

As more information becomes available, we will continue to add notes about the victims.

Here are the victims who have been identified:

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34

Caring, energetic, known for wearing a silly top hat on cruises. Worked for a company that held gay cruises. "He was just always part of the fun."

Stanley Almodovar III, 23

A pharmacy technician. His mother made him a tomato and cheese dip the night of the shooting. He never got to eat it. He loved his family.

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20

A dancer and a barista at a Kissimmee area Starbucks. He was called a ray of sunshine by many. "He lit up any area he worked in, especially Starbucks."

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22

He worked as a telemarketer and recently started attending the University of Central Florida. "He was like a big brother to me."

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36

He moved to Florida from Puerto Rico for a chance at a better life. He rarely went out, but he was attending a friend’s house-warming celebration at Pulse that night.

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22

His Facebook page said he worked at UPS in Orlando. Known among his friends and family as "Ommy," he was the life of the party. "Such a happy soul," a friend wrote.

Luis S. Vielma, 22

Worked at the Harry Potter ride at Universal and was an EMS student at Seminole State College. He had superstar fans. "I can’t stop crying," Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweeted.

Kimberly Morris, 37

A bouncer at Pulse nightclub who always donned a smile. She was a fan of basketball and recently moved from Hawaii to Florida to help her mother and grandmother.

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30

An accountant who lived in downtown Orlando. He texted his mother from the club: "Mommy I love you. … In the club they shooting." His phone then went silent.

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29


Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32


Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21


Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25


Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35


Franky J. Dejesus Velazquez, 50


Amanda Alvear, 25

She was at the club with friends. Was studying to become a nurse. Described by her family as a loving person who simply wanted to help people.

Martin Benitez Torres, 33


Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37


Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26


Xavier E. Serrano Rosado, 35

Left behind a young son who just graduated from pre-kindergarten. Described as hard-working, talkative and friendly.

Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25


Simon A. Carrillo Fernandez, 31


Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26


Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25

Known as an angel to most people. "He was a great person with a heart of gold," Christine Jimenez, a cousin, wrote on Facebook.

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30


Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40


Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32


Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19

He was studying to be an accountant. "He loved life," friend Judith Reynoso said. "He never believed in sadness because he was always laughing." Loved the gym and photography.

Cory James Connell, 21


Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37


Luis Daniel Conde, 39


Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33

Lead vocalist for "Frequency Band." His Facebook bio read: "Ordinary guy living an extraordinary life using my God given gift to navigate through this journey."

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25


Jerald Arthur Wright, 31


Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25

He recently had found a job as a leasing agent for an Orlando apartment complex. "He had finally found something he liked. He was taking care of his mom."

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25


Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24

Moved to Florida to work for Telemundo. He was a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. "Jonathan will be missed dearly."

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27


Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33


Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49


Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24


Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32


Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28


Frank Hernandez, 27


Paul Terrell Henry, 41


Antonio Davon Brown, 29

Attended Florida A&M University and studied criminal justice. He was a member of ROTC while in college and was a captain in the U.S. Army.

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24


Akyra Monet Murray, 18


Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25


Sources: The Associated Press and CNN.

Bay News 9 – local-news

June 13, 2016 |

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