First victims identified in Orlando nightclub shooting

The first eight names of the 49 people killed in a mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub had been released by Sunday evening.

One of the victims on the city of Orlando’s website was Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36, who lived in Miami for a period of time, a friend said.

The mass shooting, at the hands of 29-year-old Omar Mateen, is now considered the deadliest in U.S. history.

More names will be released as families are notified.

“Our city is working tirelessly to get as much information out to the families so they can begin the grieving process,” the website stated.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34: Sotomayor, who lived in Sarasota, was a national brand manager for Al and Chuck Gay Travel.

His friend James De La Fuente described Sotomayor — affectionately known by his friends as Top Hat Eddie because he had a signature look with his top hat — as “genuinely good.”

“He was worldly,” said De La Fuenta, who had been friends with him for three years. “Diversified and fair. Honest and true. Edward really went above and beyond for people.”

His cousin David Sotomayor, who lives in Chicago, discovered that he was related to Edward after meeting him at Orlando’s Gay Days festival about 10 years ago. They last saw each other earlier this year at a filming of the reality television show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“He was just always part of the fun,” David Sotomayor said on Sunday to The Associated Press.

Stanley Almodovar III, 23: Almodovar, a Springfield, Massachusetts, native, was a technician at a pharmacy in Clermont, where he lived, according to his Facebook profile. Friends and family flooded his page with condolences and disbelief.

“Stanley was one of the most friendly people I’ve ever had a chance to meet,” said Caitlin Rodrigues, one of Almodovar’s friends. “He had the personality anyone could get along with.”

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Luis Almodovar, 24, no relation, said he and Almodovar bonded on Facebook over their shared last names nearly four years ago. While they never got the chance to meet, Almodovar had talked about visiting Luis in Philadelphia.

“All I can say is, he’s a really good person,” Luis said.

“My heart literally broke, because he was one of my best friends that I could talk to when I was upset about something.”

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20: Ocasio-Capo was a dancer, according to his Facebook page.

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22: Guerrero started attending college at the University of Central Florida and worked as a telemarketer, his cousin Robert Guerrero said on Sunday.

“He was always this amazing person, he was like a big brother to me,” Robert Guerrero said of his cousin. “He was never the type to go out to parties, would rather stay home and take care of his niece and nephew.”

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36: Ortiz-Rivera was originally from Puerto Rico and lived in Miami in recent years. “He was an amazing guy. I’m sure that he’s the best friend you can ever have,” said Jose Morales, a friend from Puerto Rico. Morales and Ortiz-Rivera moved to Orlando together in 2007.

“He was a very, very, very good friend,” Morales said. “Very careful, very humble. He was something out of nothing.” Ortiz-Rivera had recently moved back to Orlando.

Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22: Gonzalez-Cruz graduated from Colonia High School in 2013 and worked at UPS, his Facebook page said. He was from Benoni, South Africa.

Luis S. Vielma, 22: Vielma, who lived in Orlando, worked at Universal Orlando Resort, according to his Facebook page.

“Luis was by and far the best person I knew,” his friend Will Randle said. “He inherently made us all better people by simply existing around us. Part of him will always live on in every good decision I make.”

Kimberly Morris, 37.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff

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