First Funerals Held for Victims of Orlando Massacre
A Hearse that carried the body of Kimberly Morris drives through the cemetery after the burial for Morris, June 16, 2016 in Kissimmee, Florida. Morris, who worked as a bouncer at the Pulse Nightclub, was killed in the shooting. The shooting at Pulse Nightclub, which killed 49 people and injured 53, is the worst mass-shooting event in American history.Drew Angerer / Getty Images
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The first funerals for the victims from Sunday’s massacre were held Thursday, the beginning of a long procession of grief through the heart of Orlando.
Kimberly "KJ" Morris' family held a packed funeral service at Osceola Memory Gardens Funeral Home for the 37-year-old who they said will always be remembered for her "big, bright smile."
"This past week we’ve been watching so many videos of our loved Kim and it just rings out in my mind as we are watching those videos, 'Go Kim! Go Kim! Go Kim!' and that was her personality: smiling, laughing, music, let’s dance," her uncle, Bryant Johnson recalled. "Kim loved to have fun and she was often the source of it."
Several friends and family members stood before Morris' white casket counting the ways she will be missed.
"I will miss her good spirit that could fill up a room when she walked in," said her little brother, Randy Morris. "I always looked up to her you see. I still look up to her... She'd always sacrifice herself to lend a helping hand, to make somebody feel good about themselves even though she might not have been feeling that great."
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Kimberly Morris had worked at Pulse for about a month and was about to get a job as an assistant basketball coach at a local school, loved one said.
And as friends and family shared details of her life, one voice stood out.
In a moment that hushed the room, a Pulse co-worker who identified herself only as Charice, took the podium. She said that she had been at the club the night of the massacre.
"One thing I do remember of her, four nights a week, was her smile. She had the biggest smile, she would walk in the room and immediately it lit up," Charice explained. "I want you guys to know the last time I saw her, she was smiling and laughing and enjoying life and she wants you all to continue to laugh and smile and enjoy life like she did."
The Torrington, Conn., native's open casket laid surrounded by dozens of red roses as people walked past to pay their final respects. Morris had moved to Orlando only a short time ago and lived between her mother and grandmother's house.
"She will always be my bright light, in a distant star," Randy Morris said as he choked back tears. "She will forever shine down on me and everyone else."
Not too far away, at Funeraria San Juan, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo's family held a viewing. Scores of family and friends showed up to pay their respects — some wore shirts with pictures of Ocasio-Capo on them.
When asked how she wanted her son remembered Carmen Capo said: "That’s easy. Like a true star. Like he would have wanted."
The 20-year-old's brother, Berto, said that the two were both gay and that in the last year they had been living and exploring the LGBT scene together.
"We had so much fun this year," he said. "I am so happy I got to experience that with him."
Ocasio-Capo was one of the youngest victims of the attack and worked as a Starbucks barista but wanted to be an actor.