Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hundreds show love at funeral mass for Pulse shooting victim Luis Vielma

Posted By on Sun, Jun 19, 2016 at 12:43 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Olga Glomba
Hundreds of families and friends arrived at All Souls Catholic Church in Sanford on Friday to pay their final respects to Luis Vielma, one of the 49 victims in the mass shooting last week at the gay nightclub Pulse. 

Vielma, 22, was a student at Seminole State College who worked at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter operating the “Forbidden Journey” ride. The people who loved Vielma told the Orlando Sentinel he was a kind person and a true friend. 

BuzzFeed News reports J.K. Rowling, who paid tribute to Vielma, who was Mexican-American, on her Twitter, also sent red flowers to his funeral mass. 

Outside the funeral mass, Marco Vega and his friends held a more than 100-foot-long rainbow flag to protect Vielma's friends and families from anti-LGBTQ protesters who might come even though Vielma was reportedly straight. 
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro

Vega, who is gay and was born in Puerto Rico, says he didn't know Vielma, but his friends did and he was here to support them. His friend, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, was at the club when the shooter opened fire, and unfortunately did not make it. 

click to enlarge Marco Vega, above - PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
  • Marco Vega, above
"At first it was scary hearing about everything that was going on," he says. "But as time goes on, you see the support of the communities putting out for everybody. It's a lot easier. Everybody is looking for their own way to help."

Vega and his friends cut different-colored cloths and pieced them together into a rainbow flag with the help of Vega's ex-employer Strong Enterprises, a company that manufactures parachutes and other equipment. 

"There are people that like to make things harder for everybody when it doesn't need to be," he says. "I just wish more people would care and show some love."

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