On Monday, June 13th, the House of Representatives of the United States observed a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Nearly half the victims of this attack were of Puerto Rican origin.
The day before the moment of silence, Alan Grayson (D-FL) spoke, honoring the memory of several of the Puerto Rican residents of his constituency who died in that attack.
- Juan Rivera Velasquez, owner of Alta Peluqueria D’Magazine Salon & Spa in Kissimmee. He was known for providing free services to victims of domestic violence.
- Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, a biologics supervisor at a blood donation center in Orlando. He would usually have been one of the people helping victims of the attack.
- Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, a store manager in Orlando. He had come to Florida, like so many other transplants from Puerto Rico, in search of opportunity.
- Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, a mother of two who lived in Kissimmee. She was with her brother in law and a friend.
- Luis Daniel Conde of Haines City, Florida, co-owner of the Alta Peluqueria D’Magazine salon with Juan Rivera Velasquez. The two grew up together in Puerto Rico and were together in death.
Grayson spoke not only of the professional contributions of the victims to his community, but also of their compassion and kindness and of the fond memories their friends and family held.
The attack left 49 people dead and 53 more injured, making it the most destructive of the many mass shootings in the United states in recent years. Victims from Puerto Rico included those listed above, as well as Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, Jonathan Camuy, and as many as 16 others, according to AP reports.
The attack took place during “Latin Night” at the club.
Puerto Ricans make up nearly 30 percent of the population in Grayson’s constituency in Central Florida.