Edward Sotomayor is one of the first victims to be named from the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Friends and family are expressing their sadness and shock via social media.
Here’s what you need to know
He Is a Victim of the Orlando Mass Shooting
Edward Sotomayor, who also goes by “Eddie,” was one of the first victims of the massacre in Orlando to be named. Sotomayor was at the nightclub “Pulse” when the deadliest mass shooting in United States history took place. He was 34-years-old and lived in Sarasota, Florida. The city of Orlando named him as one of the first six victims that has been identified so far.
He Managed a Large Gay Travel Agency
According to Sotomayor’s Facebook page, which is now a remembrance page, and his LinkedIn profile, he is a national brand coordinator for ALandCHUCK Travel, located in Sarasota, Florida. He has been an employee with the company since August 2014.
The company’s Facebook page states the following:
ALandCHUCK.travel is part of America’s largest gay owned travel company. We have 11 offices, own our own motor coaches and plan cruises and tours worldwide to Pride Events, Gay Festivals, circuit parties and more. ALandCHUCK.travel is a top 1% travel company and this allows you to enjoy special features you wont find anywhere else in the gay marketplace.
And ALandCHUCK.travel is not just for the guys. The girls frequently take over and create ALICEandCHARLENE.travel for special cruise and tours focusing on women.
Friends & Family Are Expressing Shock & Sadness Via Social Media
Many of Sotomayor’s friends took to Twitter to express their grief:
Friends are also posting to Facebook about the absolutely devastating tragedy:
Al Ferguson, who owns AlandCHUCK travel, where Sotomayor worked, posted the following heartbreaking words:
I won’t be making any other comments today. One of the saddest days of my life. I will try to start to find the good in all of this. TOMORROW.
He later posted, “The victims list is published now and being broadcast. I am empty.”
He Was a Wonderful Friend Who Went Out of His Way For Loved Ones
Heavy spoke with one of Sotomayor’s good friends, Ashley Spry. She said:
I met him in Sarasota a few years ago. He was such a nice guy. We exchanged contact information and the day my brother died two years ago I got a call from a strange number and I answered. He said he wanted to come to the funeral and support my family. And he did. He would plan trips for people around the world and he planned for my family for Bali. He became a part of our family and I can’t even express how kind and humble he was. It’s hard knowing that he won’t be here anymore. On some of the hardest days of my life he was always there for me and I just wish there was something I could do to help end this pain for his family. He really was a rare human in a broken world…He also had a laugh that could comfort anyone. The world is a little dimmer today.
He Sent a Friend a Video From the Club
Sotomayor sent the above video to his friend, Al Ferguson, from the nightclub on June 11. Ferguson posted the clip to Facebook with the following message:
Luis said he is ok and looking for Eddie. So ok to show. 23 minutes before starts Eddie text me this video from pulse. Text says “my people are here. Top hat is popular”. One more text then stops. Heartbroken. Pray for everyone. (I didn’t come over from his urging because of impromptu outdoor foam dance party at sawmill. I could have been there with them and done something. Something). Heartbreak.
According to his friends, “Top hat” is Sotomayor’s nickname.
May Eddie rest in peace.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.