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Orlando Nightclub Shooting: First Victims’ Names Released as Locals Line Up to Donate Blood

The first Orlando nightclub shooting victims’ names were released to the public on Sunday, June 12, as hundreds of locals lined up to donate blood to the 53 others who were injured in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

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Orlando Regional Medical Center
Families and friends await for information outside of the Orlando Regional Medical Center about loved ones who may have been victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, in Orlando.

The City of Orlando identified 33 of the 50 victims’ names on its website, noting that the list is made up of those whose “next of kin have been contacted.” The remaining names will be released at a later time.

The victims who have been identified so far are Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34, Stanley Almodovar III, 23, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20, Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22, Luis S. Vielma, 22, Kimberly Morris, 37, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30, Darryl Roman Burt II, 29, Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21, Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50, Amanda Alvear, 25, Martin Benitez Torres, 33, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37, Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31, Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26, Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25, Miguel Angel Honorato, 30, Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19, Cory James Connell, 21, Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, Luis Daniel Conde, 39, Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33, and Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25.

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As previously reported, a 29-year-old gunman named Omar Mateen shot and killed 50 people and injured dozens more at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning. The suspect, who placed a call to 911 and pledged his allegiance to ISIS just moments before committing the crime, was shot and killed around 6 a.m. by police responders. 

According to multiple reports, Mateen has been on the FBI’s radar since 2013. His ex-wife revealed in an interview with the Washington Post that he used to beat her when they were married and she believed that he “was not a stable person.”

Since the fatal shooting, a GoFundMe page was started to raise money for the victims and families affected by the incident. The crowdfunding page has already raised more than $600,000 in eight hours.

Local citizens are also giving back by donating blood to those who were injured. According to the Orlando Sentinel, blood banks reached capacity on Sunday and authorities are urging donors to return in a few days.

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“I’ve been here 13 years and never seen a response like this,” OneBlood spokesperson Pat Michaels told the newspaper. “The sentiment is understood and appreciated, but it’s a little too much, too soon.”

The blood bank still needs type O negative, O positive and AB plasma. Donors should be “healthy, age 16 or older and weigh at least 100 pounds,” according to OneBlood’s website.

While the FDA relaxed its ban last year that stopped gay and bisexual men from donating blood (a rule instituted decades ago during the AIDS crisis), OneBlood has not updated its policies. The Sentinel reports that gay and bisexual men who acknowledge that they have been sexually active cannot donate, nor can people who have been in a country where they were exposed to risk of infection for malaria and the Zika virus.

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