The Latest: Church bells ring for Orlando shooting victims

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the Orlando gay nightclub massacre (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

Church bells rang in downtown Orlando and patrons at nightclubs paused for a moment at 2 a.m. to commemorate the shooting deaths of 49 victims at the Pulse gay nightclub exactly a week ago.

At church services and at a vigil planned for later Sunday around Lake Eola in the heart of downtown Orlando, residents remembered the victims of the worse mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

At the Joy Metropolitan Community Church, the Rev. Terry Steed Pierce told her largely gay congregation that survivor guilt was haunting some Pulse patrons who had made it out alive but had lost friends.

Pierce says she has heard of one man who committed suicide this week. He lost two of his friends to the massacre and he survived.

She says people need to rally around those who survived the massacre.


5:00 p.m.

An aspiring firefighter who was among those killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting was named an honorary one during a service to honor his life.

The Orlando Sentinel ( reports that 21-year-old Cory James Connell got the distinction Saturday from the Orange County Fire Rescue.

Firefighter/paramedic Lori Clay told those at the service that Connell was a regular at the firehouse.

Clay says Connell wanted to be a firefighter even after he was warned that the profession wasn’t exactly the most lucrative.

Clay says Connell told her, “I don’t care about money. I want to do it because I want to save lives. I want to help people.'”

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs made the proclamation that officially made Connell a firefighter


1:30 p.m.

A lawyer for the Council of American-Islamic Relations says that the FBI interviewed a man who worshipped at the same mosque as Omar Mateen.

Omar Saleh said he sat in on the Friday interview at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, the same mosque that Mateen attended near his home. Saleh said the interview lasted about 30 minutes.

Saleh said the council suggested that the FBI conduct interviews at the mosque for two reasons — to show that the sense of loss for the 49 who died in the Pulse Nightclub shooting is not unique to the non-Muslim community and to show that the mosque has an open door policy.

Saleh added that he expects more people will be interviewed at the mosque.


12:35 p.m.

The pews were full at Cathedral Church of St. Luke in downtown Orlando for the funeral of Pulse nightclub shooting victim Christopher Andrew Leinonen.

The 32-year-old Leinonen was with his friends when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire, killing 49 club-goers and wounding 53 others.

Brandon Wolf was with Leinonen and shooting victim Juan Ramon Guerrero. The 27-year-old Wolf managed to make it out alive.

He says Leinonen changed his life, and eased his pain when he was hurting.

“He laughed at my worst jokes and he never missed an opportunity to remind me just how much he loved me.”

He called Leinonen ” the fun, he was our social glue, he was also the one who loves us the most, he is the one who taught me that no matter who I am or what I do I am perfect in my own way.”


Felipe Marrero wakes up in his hospital bed in the middle of the night and thinks he smells gunpowder.

That’s just one of the problems he’s suffered after being shot four times in the back and arm during the Sunday shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 victims dead. Gunman Omar Mateen was killed in a firefight with police.

Marrero says he dropped to the floor of the club when Mateen started shooting and played dead while bodies surrounded him.

He says the shots stopped after about an hour, as though Mateen were reloading. Then he was hit in his lower back and left arm, which was shattered.

Marrero says he’s starting to heal but knows he has a long road.


This story corrects ‘Mateen’ to ‘Saleh’ in last sentence of first entry

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