A Couple Killed In The Orlando Shooting Will Have A Joint Funeral Instead Of A Wedding

As victim’s names are being released following the horrific mass shooting that took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando last Sunday, we begin to learn more details about each of their lives. Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, and his boyfriend Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, 32, had planned on getting married prior to losing their lives, now the couple will be side-by-side at their joint funeral, the victim’s families tell TIME.

The couple, who were living together and had been dating for nearly two years, were deeply in love according to their family members. “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,” Aryam Guerrero, Juan Roman’s older sister, said.

Immediately following the shooting at Pulse nightclub on Sunday, a friend saw Guerrero’s body being carried out by stretcher. According to the victim’s sister, their family rushed to the hospital only to find out her brother was one of the nine victims on an original list of the deceased.

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

Although Guerrero was one of the first of the 50 killed to be identified, Leinonen had gone missing during the time of the shooting. On Monday afternoon, his death was confirmed on the city of Orlando’s website dedicated to those who were killed during the shooting.

Guerrero, who had just finished his first year at the University of Central Florida, wanted to become a financial advisor, according to his sister. His 23rd birthday was only a few days away and his family still plans to celebrate.

“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,” Guerrerro’s father, Juan Ramon Sr. said.

(Via TIME)