• These are the faces of the Orlando shooting victims. (Facebook)
Some of the victims of the Orlando gay bar massacre have been named, with the list to be updated as more bodies are identified.
By
Shami Sivasubramanian, Ben Winsor

Source:
SBS News
13 Jun 2016 - 10:50 AM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2016 - 11:51 AM

A man armed with an assault rifle killed 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early on Sunday in the deadliest mass shooting in US history, a rampage President Barack Obama denounced as an act of terror and hate.

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Edward "Eddie" Sotomayor Jr., 34-years-old

Sotomayor, the first body to be identified by the Orlando Police, died trying to save his boyfriend, shielding him from gunfire, reports WESH 2 News.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Sotomayor was the national brand coordinator for one of "America's largest gay-owned travel company", ALandCHUCK Travel in Sarasota, Florida.

The travel agency caters to the LGBTQI community planning cruises and tours for Pride Events, Gay Festivals, and circuit parties.

Sotomayor had been working there since August 2014.

He sent his friend, Al Ferguson, a Snapchat from Pulse nightclub before the attack, that was shared on Facebook.

Luis Arancibia, general manager at a Hilton property and friend of Sotomayor, told SBS, "Eddie" was a prominent person in the gay Latin community.

“Eddie was a loving, happy person who just knew everyone in our community. He was one of those people that if he didn’t know you were, he wanted to get to know you,” Arancibia said.

"If you ever needed anything he would be there for you.”

Arancibia regrets not reaching out to Sotomayor in the past few months; he said circumstances got in the way.

“Every single time you would see Eddie you would just feel better," he said. "Such a caring person and such a happy person – he’ll definitely be missed."

The Orlando shooting is hitting Latinos especially hard
For gay Latinos, the shooting was especially cruel. It came on the night of Pulse nightclub's Latin Night.
A recent history of attacks against LGBTI people
Sunday's attack follows many other violent incidents around the world aimed at instilling fear and terror into LGBTI people.

 

Stanley Almodovar III, 23-years-old

The 23-year-old had been working as a certified pharmacy technician at Avella Specialist Pharmacy in Lake Mary, Florida since January last year, according to his Facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Prior to Avella, Almodovar was a pharmacy technician at Walgreens and an intern in the same field at Target.

Originally from Springfield, Massachusetts, Almodovar, who was openly gay, moved to Clermont, Florida in August 2003.

He was weeks shy of his 24th birthday.

 

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20-years-old

"Omar" as Ocasio-Capo was called by his friends, was a dancer according to his Facebook profile. He also worked at a Starbucks cafe within a Target store in Kissimmee, Florida.

 

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22-years-old

Guerrero was a student at the University of Central Florida, reports Local News 10. He also worked part time as a telemarketer.

Guerrero was from Orlando, and was at the nightclub with his boyfriend, Christopher "Drew" Leinonen, on Sunday night, according to multiple sources on social media.

Leinonen was missing until last night when his body was identified. He is listed below. Guerrero's father told Time the couple will be buried in a joint funeral.

 

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36-years-old

According to his Facebook profile, Ortiz-Rivera lived in Miami but is originally from Dorado, Puerto Rico. He studied at the Univercidad Central de Bayamon in Puerto Rico.

 

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22-years-old

Originally from South Africa via New Jersey, Gonzalez-Cruz worked for UPS delivery services. He was known as Peter Ommy by his friends, according to Facebook.

 

Luis S. Vielma, 22-years-old

Vielma was a student at Seminole State College of Florida, while also working as a production assistant at Universal Studios in Orlando, according to his Facebook page.

 

Kimberly "KJ" Morris, 37 years old

Originally from Torrington, Connecticut, Morris lived in Orlando, Florida. According to Facebook, she goes by the nickname "KJ".

 

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Justice sent his mother a text from the club during the attack. His text read, "Mommy I love you" followed by a series of text messages reading "In club they shooting", "Trapp in bathroom", "Pulse. Downtown. Call police.", and finally at 2:08am, "I'm gonna die".

 

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Burt was at Pulse celebrating earning his master's degree in human resources management from Keiser Univeristy in Jacksonville, Tennessee. He worked at the university in their financial aid department assisting several military service members.

Prior to working at Keiser, Burt's LinkedIn profile reads he was a general manager at McDonalds and a home store manager at Forever 21, both in Jacksonville.

 

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Drayton was an employee at Pulse. According to social media sources, she grew up near Eastover, Massachusetts.

Drayton, who had faced felony charges on drug possession only last year, was turning her life around according to her ex-girlfriend of four years, Ashleigh Alleyne who told the Orlando Sentinel.

 

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old

Originally from El Chique, Mexico, Maritnez worked as a DJ at Cloud 9 in Ocala, Florida. He was married to his wife Erika Starr for nearly two years, according to social media sources.

 

Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old

 

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

 

Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old

 

Amanda Alvear, 25 years old

 

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

 

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

 

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

 

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old

 

Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old

 

Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old

 

Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old

 

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

 

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

 

Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old

 

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

 

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

 

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

 

Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old

 

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

 

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

 

Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old

 

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

 

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

 

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

 

Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old

 

Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old

 

Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old

 

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old

 

Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old

 

Christopher Andrew "Drew" Leinonen, 32 years old

Leinonen was at Pulse with his boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero (one of the first victims to be identified). His boyfriend's father told Time the couple will be buried in a joint funeral.

 

 

Leinonen was a Detroit, Michigan native, according to his Facebook profile, and studied clinical psychology at the University of Central Florida.

His mother told the Orlando Sentinel he began a gay-straight alliance in high school and was awarded the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award for his work in the gay community. 

 

 

Leinonen died a week and a half after his 32nd birthday.

 

Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

 

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

 

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

 

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

 

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

 

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

 

Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old

 

“[I] only know of two, but to know that number can rise by tomorrow is terrifying,” a friend of two of the victims told SBS news.

Around 2am Sunday local time, a 29-year-old man carrying an assault rifle and a pistol entered Pulse nightclub and opened fire. The club was packed with up to 320 patrons.

About 30 people were freed after an armoured vehicle carrying a SWAT team broke down the club's doors.

The gunman, who was shot dead a few hours later during the SWAT operation, had reportedly committed the act of violence in the name of IS, pledging his allegiance to the terrorist organisation.

- With Reuters.

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