Community mourns victim of Orlando Shooting
Friends, family and community are mourning the loss of Haitian-American Jason Benjamin Josaphat, who was among those killed in the recent Orlando nightclub massacre.
His mother Myrlande Bebe reported that her son had called from the Pulse nightclub, telling her a shooting was taking place. His mother called 911 on another phone and told him to get out as the gunfire got closer. After an agonizing wait over Sunday, the family was not able to confirm his death until the following Monday.
The 19-year-old Orlando native was the second youngest victim in the shooting. A Computer Science at Valencia Community College in Orlando, he had just graduated two weeks ago from Southern Technical College’s business office specialist program. Martin Levert, the college’s executive director, called Josaphat “an exceptional student.” In his honor, the college hosts a OneBlood blood drive for victims of the shootings.
His other alma mater, Skyline High School, where Jason Josaphat had graduated, also held a candlelight vigil for him last Wednesday night, June 15, 2016.
Josaphat leaves behind two brothers, a sister, and mother Myrlande Bebe and father Jackson Josaphat.
“Everybody is just very, very hurt,” says Josaphat’s uncle, Christopher Long. “You never think it would be you until it is, until it happens to one of your family members,” Long said. “Right now, the whole family is grieving.”
He is among 49 victims dead from the shooting and 53 injured in what authorities are calling the deadliest-ever mass killing in the United States.