Couple Killed In Orlando Shooting Will Have A Joint Funeral Because They Had Hoped To Get Married


This is absolutely heartbreaking.

Two of the 49 victims who tragically lost their lives in the senseless shooting in Orlando were dating, and had hoped to get married.

The families of Juan Ramon Guerrero and Christopher “Drew” Leinonen plan to hold a joint funeral for the couple.

Related: Here’s How You Can Help The LGBT Community After The Shooting

Juan’s father, also named Juan Ramon Guerrero, explained why he plans on burying his son alongside his boyfriend, tearfully telling TIME:

“I think my son wanted to do that. That’s why. I don’t care what the people think. I don’t care.”

The 22-year-old’s sister, Aryam Guerrero, explained that her brother and his 32-year-old love were living together, and had been dating for two years:

“They were honestly so in love. They were soul mates. You can tell by how they looked at each other. It’s a little comforting that they died together.”

The 24-year-old also explained that they were destined to get married one day, adding:

“If it’s not a funeral, they were going to have a wedding together.”

So sad.

Related: People Are Coming Out Of The Closet In Response To The Massacre

Juan’s family says Drew’s mother, Christine Leinonen, was the one who had the idea to hold a joint funeral for their sons.

Drew’s death was confirmed on Monday as more victims’ names were released, but Aryam recalls the chilling moment she learned her younger sibling had been killed in the horrific attack, saying that she saw his name on a list with other victims at the hospital:

“I said, ‘That’s my brother! That’s my brother! Tell me what’s going on.'”

The family didn’t get any answers initially, but they were eventually taken into a room where they met with hospital officials and someone from the FBI.

Juan’s sister remembered:

“The moment I heard my mom yell out, we all knew. I just kept saying, ‘This isn’t real.’ I just didn’t want it to be real.”

This is just so horrible.

On top of all this, Juan was only days away from turning 23. In the wake of the college student’s devastating death, his father says their family will still celebrate his birthday, explaining:

“My wife will cook all the food he likes. He was a beautiful kid, a hard worker, friendly, sweet person. I lost part of my life.”

We can’t even imagine what the loved ones of these victims must be going through. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this senseless act of violence and hate.

[Image via Instagram.]

Jun 13, 2016 7:26pm PDT

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