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Anderson Cooper Fights Back Tears as He Reads Names of Orlando Shooting Victims

Anderson Cooper broke down during a live CNN broadcast on Monday, June 13, while reading the names of the Orlando shooting victims.

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“We begin tonight with their names. The names of the 48 out of 49 people who have so far been identified,” Cooper, 49, said. “The victims of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. A massacre that happened in a gay nightclub … just two nights ago.”


The journalist told viewers that he would not be showing a photo of the gunman or say his name during the segment. As previously reported, 29-year-old Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, on Sunday, June 12. He reportedly called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS before the attack and was killed after the attack.

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“[His photo has] been shown far too much all ready,” Cooper said on Monday. “We want to try to keep the focus where we think it belongs — on the people whose lives were cut short.”

Cooper then read the names of the dozens of victims along with descriptions for most of them, including the 49th person who was identified: 34-year-old Edward Sotomayor Jr. At times, Cooper choked back tears and tried to compose himself.

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Viewers later praised him on social media for the emotional segment. “@andersoncooper thanks for reading the victims names. Let’s make them famous. Not this monster. I’m tired of seeing his face,” one person tweeted. A second added: “@andersoncooper Kudos on last night’s broadcast. I can hear the pain in your voice.”

Watch Anderson’s reporting in the video above.

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