'Just run, go': Mother who saved son's life in Orlando shooting farewelled

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The family and friends of a mother who died saving her son's life in the Orlando nightclub shooting has been farewelled at an emotional funeral.

Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, who was shot in the back as she told her son to run as a gunman opened fire in an Orlando gay club, has been farewelled by her family and friends.

Witnesses said the 49-year-old mother of 11 told her son and his friend to run and stood in front of them as gunman Omar Mateen entered Pulse nightclub on June 12 and opened fire with a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle.

She was shot in the back when her son, Isaiah Henderson, 21, came back to help her and she pushed him away, saying, "Just run, go". 

Ms McCool was one of 49 people shot dead at the club while her son, who is gay, survived thanks to her actions.

At her funeral at the First United Methodist Church of Orlando, on Tuesday, her 11 children lined up to say their farewells to "the mum everybody wanted".

Mr Henderson broke down as her gave his eulogy and needed the support of two of his brothers to continue.

"Everybody who knew my mum knew she was the mum everybody wanted," he said.

"She always took everybody in with open arms. She loved everybody equally, no matter what."

Ms McCool had already survived breast cancer and was undergoing treatment for leukaemia, The Daily Beast reported.

The news organisation reported her brother Michael led the mourners at the funeral in a kind of prayer.

"Hold up two fingers like a peace sign, and then another two on your wrist, for your pulse, and warn God that Brenda is coming," he said.

Her niece, Nelia Rodriguez, told People Ms McCool remained positive despite her struggles with cancer.

"She thought many times she would survive it," she said.

"Her positive way is what kept her alive ... She acted like there was nothing wrong with her.

"She was happy all the time. She tried not to talk about it."

Ms McCool's eldest daughter Khalisha Pressley, told NBC her Brooklyn-born mother was living with six of her children, the youngest of whom was 12 years old, in Florida.

"She was always really cool, but really a mom at the end of the day," she said.

"The sweetest lovingest person in the world."

Ms Pressley said her brother, Mr Henderson, had called her immediately after the shooting, screaming.

"He had to watch his mother die," she said.

"He saw everybody getting killed. He feels it was his fault."

 

Source SBS News

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