Orlando nightclub shooting: Who were the victims? | The Daily Star
09:19 AM, June 14, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:38 AM, June 14, 2016

Orlando nightclub shooting: Who were the victims?

The victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, are being identified by the US authorities and their names released once their families have been told.

So far, 36 of the 49 killed have been named: 32 men and four women aged between 19 and 50.

Luis Vielma

The 22-year-old worked on the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios, according to author JK Rowling, who paid tribute to him on her Twitter account.

Friends told the Orlando Sentinel Mr Vielma had been a "true friend" who had hoped to become an emergency medical technician.

One, Olga Glomba, described him as "a funny, sweet, nerdy guy without a mean side. He just wanted to make people smile".

Edward Sotomayor Jr

The 34-year-old was a brand manager at a gay travel company. He lived in Sarasota, Florida, and was described by his cousin as a caring and energetic man who often travelled to promote his company's events.

"He was just always part of the fun," David Sotomayor said.

Stanley Almodovar III

The pharmacy technician, 23, from Clermont, near Orlando, had posted a Snapchat video of himself singing and dancing in the nightclub moments before he was killed.

His mother Rosalie Ramos told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper she wished she had the video to "remember him forever". Videos on the social media platform delete automatically after being watched.

Mr Almodovar's Aunt Yoly said a young woman who was with him in Pulse had told her he had come out of the toilets during gunfire and had pushed people out of the way of the bullets.

A friend, Hazel Ramirez, described Mr Almodovar as "kind, but sassy", someone who was comfortable with his own sexual identity.

"He was so proud of who he was," she told the Washington Post newspaper. "He would do his makeup better than anyone else. It was so easy to be myself with him."

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo

At 20 years of age, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo was among the youngest victims.

He described himself as a dancer on his Facebook account and had added a red, white and blue filter to his profile photo after the terror attacks in Paris last November.

A former teacher described him as a "ray of sunshine", the Daily Beast reported.

Juan Ramon Guerrero

The 22-year-old worked as a telemarketer and had recently started college at the University of Central Florida.

His cousin, Robert Guerrero, said he had been an "amazing person", more likely to stay at home to care for his nieces and nephews than go out partying.

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera

Originally from Puerto Rico, the 36-year-old had moved to Florida for a better life and was working as a merchandise manager.

He was said by a former housemate to have "sacrificed himself a lot for his family".

"Eric was always willing to help everybody," Abismel Colon Gomez told the Orlando Sentinel. "He loved his brother and he was always being generous."

Peter O Gonzalez-Cruz

Originally from South Africa, the 22-year-old who was also known as Peter Ommy, had worked for logistics company UPS in Orlando after graduating from high school in New Jersey.

His cousins paid tribute to him on social media. One wrote "Rest in peace to my wonderful cousin". Another said "May you rest easy in Heaven".

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice

The 30-year-old sent his mother a series of desperate text messages while inside the club - read more on him here.

One of his cousins, Millie Ortiz, said he could "walk in and the room would light up".

She said he had been a "gentle soul" who would "give you the shirt off his back" and was "very upfront and outspoken and lived life to the fullest without any regrets".

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez

The 35-year-old was at the Pulse nightclub with his boyfriend, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, who was also murdered, according to My pulse still beats, a page set up on Facebook paying tribute to the victims.
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Kimberly Morris

The 37-year-old had worked at Pulse as a bouncer. She had only recently moved to Florida from Hawaii to help take care of her mother and grandmother.

Friends paid tribute to her.

"She was the most loving person," one friend told the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

"She never had a bad thing to say about anyone. If you came to her after a bad day, she'd find some way to cheer you up."

Ms Morris had also previously lived in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she worked at the gay club Divas as a drag performer and bouncer.

"We will always remember her smile and her amazing way she lit up the stage in her performances," the club said on its Facebook page.

Jimmy DeJesus Velazquez

The 50-year-old was the oldest victim of the shooting to have been identified so far. He was a professional Puerto Rican folk dancer who had travelled the world through his work, Orlando Weekly reports.

He was with at least two friends at Pulse, a female friend told the publication. They told her they had thought the sound of shooting was part of the music until they saw people fall down. They tried to grab Mr Velazquez but he and others were pushed up against a wall by the gunman, who then began shooting at the group.
Amanda Alvear

The 25-year-old is reported to have posted a video from inside Pulse in which gunfire from the attack is audible.

The Snapchat clips purport to show Ms Alvear with her friends before the sound of gunfire begins, the video obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper in the UK.

Paying tribute, family members told the Orlando Sentinel that she loved fashion and had infectious enthusiasm.

"People got caught in her wake. Whatever she was doing, that's what they were going to do and have fun doing it," her brother Brian Alvear said.

He told the newspaper she went to gay and lesbian clubs because they were fun and she felt able to be herself there.

"She wouldn't want anyone to spread hate for her. She'd rather they spread more love," he said.

Mercedez Marisol Flores

Ms Flores, 26, was with Ms Alvear at Pulse, the Mirror reported. She worked in retail and was originally from New York, according to her Facebook profile.

Martin Benitez Torres, 33

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26

Other victims identified so far

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31

Enrique L Rios Jr, 25

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19

Cory James Connell, 21

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37

Luis Daniel Conde, 39

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
 

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