Orlando shooting victims revealed

Edward Sotomayor Jr (Facebook)
Edward Sotomayor Jr (Facebook)

A day before the Florida nightclub massacre, Luis Vielma, 22, updated his Facebook profile with a picture of himself standing with young people in front of a Disney castle and a caption that read: "True friends who become family."

By Sunday night, his profile was altered to "Remember Luis Vielma" after police confirmed he was among 50 people killed in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

As authorities frantically tried to notify all the relatives, the Orlando Police Department began publishing the names of victims on a city website on Sunday afternoon.

Among them was Vielma, who worked part-time as a rides attendant at the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey theme park ride, while studying physical therapy at Seminole State College, according to his Facebook profile.

Others included Edward Sotomayor Jr, 34, Stanley Almodovar III, 23, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20, Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36, and Peter O Gonzalez-Cruz, 22.

Police killed the gunman, who was identified as Omar Mateen, 29, a New York-born Florida resident and US citizen who was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan, and officials were probing evidence suggesting the attack may have been inspired by Islamic State militants.

The sheer number of deaths appeared to overwhelm officials in Orlando, a city of 270,000 people. Orlando Police asked mourners to hold off on vigils as they were understaffed to police them.

Neighbours of Stanley Almodovar III, a 23-year-old pharmacy technician, said his parents had recently moved back to Puerto Rico after his mother became ill with cancer. He was the youngest in the family.

Sotomayor Jr, a 34-year-old marketing manager at a Sarasota-based gay travel company, previously posted a photo of himself and former Florida Governor Charlie Christ on his Facebook page.

Reuters