Orlando victim’s last Snapchat starts with dancing, ends in gunfire

  • Reuters, Orlando
  • Updated: Jun 14, 2016 08:04 IST
An undated photo from the Facebook account of Amanda Alvear, who police identified as one of the victims of the shooting massacre that happened at the Pulse nightclub of Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016. (REUTERS)

Amanda Alvear’s last Snapchat video post begins with a shot of her on the dance floor of an Orlando nightclub surrounded by friends. It ends with gunshots ringing out over the music.

Alvear, 25, was identified by police on Monday as one of the 49 people killed by a gunman at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the worst mass shooting in US history. Alvear’s friend Mercedez Flores, 26, who worked for Target, also was on the list of 46 named victims released so far by the Orlando Police Department.

On Monday, Alvear’s sister, Ashley Velez posted a photo of the pair, writing: “two beautiful souls have been taken way too soon. My sister Amanda is on the right and her best friend Mercedez Flores. You girls will be missed.”

Social media tributes to the victims of the massacre flowed Monday as authorities confirmed their names. Author J.K. Rowling was among the best known to express her grief, mentioning a man with a tangential connection to her “Harry Potter” works.

“Luis Vielma worked on the Harry Potter ride at Universal,” Rowling posted on Twitter. “He was 22 years old. I can’t stop crying. #Orlando”

Vielma, 22, had worked part time as a rides attendant at the theme park while studying physical therapy at Seminole State College, according to his Facebook profile.

A photo of Amanda Alvear, one of the victims in the fatal shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub, was placed at a makeshift memorial, Monday, June 13, 2016, in Orlando (AP)

Rowling retweeted many of the recollections of Vielma’s friends, including Twitter user Melissa A. Gibbo, who posted: “@jk_rowling Trust me, you would have loved him. He was the guy in the breakroom you liked four seconds after walking in.”

Also on the list of victims released by police were Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, and Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37. The Orlando Sentinel reported the couple fell in love when Perez charmed Wilson-Leon into buying a bottle of perfume at the store where he worked.

“That pain so big feels my heart to see their names on that list.... Rest in peace my beloved friends!!!!” wrote Tommy-Emanuel Quinones-Garcia.

In the hours after the nightclub shooting and before police had released his name among the dead, friends of student Martin Benitez Torres, 33, had been searching for any sign of his safety.

“Please, I need your number it’s urgent call me I left my number inbox,” a frantic Myriam Torres wrote on Sunday morning at 5:32 am, when police were midst a stand-off with the gunman inside the club.

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