Anderson Cooper wants to tell a different story. Unlike what most of the media are saying these days. He wants to tell a story without giving the name of the perpetrator, without showing a picture of him. Cooper doesn’t ask who the man was who killed at least 49 people and partially injured 53 people. Neither does he ask about his surroundings or about the man’s personal beliefs.
He only wants to give a name to those who wanted to celebrate, dance and be happy that evening, but instead gave their lives.
Cooper, 59, is a well-known CNN journalist. In his report, he initially looks like a typical reporter, in the background you can see the blue lights of a patrol car and a police barrier. Cooper tries to put into words what happened at the Pulse Club in Orlando on Sunday.
“They are more than just a list of names. They are people who loved and were loved. They were people with family, friends and dreams,” said Cooper.
He speaks in a brittle voice, he has to stop several times. It takes more than six minutes to go through the list of names of all 49 victims. They were young people, some of them less than twenty years old. They were fathers, heterosexual but also homosexual couples. It was a mother of eleven children who wanted to celebrate with her son.
A name and a sentence are not enough to do justice to the stories of the victims. Not much is known about many more. But Cooper’s report shows that a name and a sentence can turn individuals into mere victims:
Stanley Almodovar III., 23, published a video of himself shortly before the shootout, which shows him walking towards the club laughing and singing. Eddie Justice, a 30-year-old accountant, wrote a message to his mother during the massacre: “Mom, I love you.” Juan Guerrero, a 22-year-old student from Florida, didn’t come to his family until the beginning of the year. He died with his 32-year-old friend Christopher Leinonen. During the night, his mother drove to the crime scene and explained how proud she was of her son, who always campaigned for homosexuals and even received a prize for it. Amanda Alvear, 25, was recording a video for the social media platform Snapchat when the first shots were fired. Then the video stops. She was in the club with a friend, the 26-year-old student of literature. Mercedez Flores. Joel Paniagua, 32, grew up in Mexico and has lived in Florida for less than a year. He had moved to Florida to earn money as a designer to send his family to Mexico.
Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, 22, nickname Ommy, visited the club with his best friend, Gilberto Menendez, a 25 year old student. Anthony Disla, 25, born in Puerto Rico, worked as a drag queen. Jean Perez, 35, also born in Puerto Rico, worked in a perfume shop. There he met his 37-year-old friend ten years ago Luis Wilson-Leon know. Akyra Monet Murray, 18, is the youngest victim of the massacre. She recently graduated from high school and wanted to start studying. Luis Vielma, 22, worked for the Harry Potter world of an amusement park in Orlando.
Jason Josaphat, 19, is the second youngest victim of the massacre. When he heard the first gunshots, he called his mother and spoke to her. Miguel Honorato, 30, worked as a manager of a Mexican restaurant. He was married with three children. Kimberly Morris, 37, was a bouncer at the Pulse Club and just moved from Hawaii to Florida a few months ago. Brenda Marquez McCool, 49, was a mother of eleven children and, as is so often the case, spent the evening with her son in Pulse. The 21-year-old survived. Paul Henry, 41, came from Chicago and had two children. Most of all, according to his partner Francisco Hernandez, he will miss Henry’s laugh. Cory Connell, 21, was a student at Valencia College in Orlando and wanted to be a fireman.
Luis Ocasio-Capo, 20, was a dancer and collaborator at Starbucks. Eric Ortiz-Rivera, 36, was married and lived in Orlando. Darryl Burt II., 29, worked at Keizer University in Florida. Deonka Drayton, 32, nickname Dee Dee, was a bartender at the Pulse Club. over Alejandro Martinez, 21, is little known. His cell phone is said to have been one of those who rang the doorbell during the identification process. Franky Velazquez was a 50 year old dancer. Martin Torres, 33, came from Puerto Rico and studied. Xavier Rosade, 35, was the father of a son. Oscar Aracena-Montero, 26, had just returned from vacationing in Canada before visiting Pulse. He died with his friend Simon Adrian Fernandez, 31. Edward Sotomayor, 34, worked for a travel agency for gays and lesbians.
Enrique Rios, 25, attended a nursing school and worked as a social worker. He was visiting Brooklyn from Brooklyn. Yilmary Solvian, 24, was originally from Puerto Rico but lived in Orlando. She was married, had two little sons, and was with the 24-year-old that evening Jonathan Vega and her brother-in-law William Borges at the Pulse Club. Borges was the only one of the three to survive the massacre. Geraldo Ortiz-Jimenez was the last victim identified, he was 25 years old. Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25, was a hotel employee.
Jerald Wright, 31, worked at Disney World. Leroy fernandez, 25, worked for a leasing company and loved to sing him Adele songs at his office. Tevin Crosby, 25, was a manager from Michigan. Angel Candelario-Padro, 28, had recently moved to Orlando because he had started a new job as a technician there. Jean Rodriguez, 27, was a manager and had only bought a house a month and a half ago. He wanted to offer his mother a nice home with the house. Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, worked as a seller at Gucci. Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33, worked as a singer in a cover band and performed in another club on the evening of the massacre before going into the pulse. Rodolfo Aayala-Aayala, 33, was a Puerto Rican and worked for a blood donation organization.
Frank Hernandez, 27, worked in a Calvin Klein store. After his death, his sister wrote about him that he had been a loving brother. Christopher Josephs Sanfeliz, 24, was an employee of a bank. Antonio Davon Brown, 29, was a lieutenant in the US Army. Luis Conde, 39, was a Puerto Rican and spent the evening with his 37-year-old partner Juan Velazquezwho was also killed.