A young man is being hailed as a hero after he reportedly took a bullet in the back trying to help his boyfriend escape.
Edward Sotomayor, 34, was at the Pulse nightclub with his boyfriend when the shooting broke out.
Sotomayor was said to have shielded his partner as the two fled the spraying bullets.
WESH 2 journalist Angela Taylor reported the young man’s sacrifice after being told of his final actions by friends.
Sotomayor has been declared dead after being taken to hospital and treated for the severe injuries he sustained.
The 34-year-old was a Florida resident who was the national brand coordinator for a gay travel agency.
There has been an outpouring of grief across social media as friends reach out to share how they too have been touched by his passing.
Friend Jason Howell told People he started shaking when he heard his friend had been caught in the shooting.
“I just started bursting into tears, and I’ve been like that all day. You never think that one of your friends is going to be killed in a terrorist attack,” said.
Howell said that Sotomayor was a selfless and generous soul.
“He touched so many people’s lives because he’s such a positive person. He would do anything for anybody,” he said.
Manager of the company where he worked, Al Ferguson told the Orlando Sentinel that Sotomayor had contacted him before the shooting broke out.
“He was with his boyfriend and they sent me a video text from the dance floor at Pulse, trying to get me to come over from where I was at,” he said.
Watch as a witness describes what he saw to CNN. Post continues after video…
Ferguson said Sotomayor had an acute understanding of the dangers gay men faced travelling abroad.
He hoped these beliefs about understanding danger but not being afraid would continue in the wake of the tragedy.
“What I will say, over and over again, was he was a person who said, ‘We cannot be afraid,'” he said.
“I know his friends are going to be the exact same way… we are not going to be afraid.”
Sotomayor is one of 50 young men who died as a result of the attack.