Seven of the 49 victims killed in the anti-gay massacre in Orlando, Florida this week were students at Valencia College, the school confirmed Tuesday.
In a statement to its campus community Tuesday, Valencia, a community college in Orlando, released the names of seven students who were killed at the Pulse nightclub on Sunday:
After securing and verifying the list of names, we are now able to regretfully share that the following deceased victims were Valencia students. We join their families and friends in mourning the loss and celebrating the lives of:
- Amanda Alvear
- Oscar A. Aracena-Montero
- Cory James Connell
- Mercedez Marisol Flores
- Juan Ramon Guerrero
- Jason Benjamin Josaphat
- Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo
We hope that each of you take a moment of silence to mourn for those in our community who have been lost, but not forgotten.
The college president, Sandy Shugart, also released a video calling on grieving students not to fill "every moment with media flurry" but to take time to process what happened.
"Come to school here at Valencia ready to hug and support others," he said. The mass shooting happened during Latin night at a gay nightclub, and Shugart noted that some people who are Hispanic or LGBT could feel particular affinity to the victims. He urged people to support each other as they process the mass shooting.
Shugart admonished students not to attack Muslim classmates and staff simply because the killer was of the same religion.
"Be sure to embrace them too; they didn't cause this," he said. "This was the act of a madman, a crazy person, not a faith."
Valencia is planning a vigil Wednesday night to honor those killed. A Facebook event page said there would be "speakers representing our diverse community."