Two Orlando shooting victims who were planning on getting married will be having a joint funeral, according to Time Magazine. Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, and his boyfriend, Christopher "Drew" Leinonen, 32, were planning on spending their lives together before their time was tragically cut short on June 12.
Juan and Drew were enjoying a night out at Pulse Nightclub when a man identified as Omar Mateen entered the club and opened fire. Mateen killed 49 people and injured dozens more before being shot by police. It is believed that this attack was premeditated. Mateen allegedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS during a call to 911.
Guerrero and Leinonen will be side by side before they are laid to rest, their families doing their best to cope while trying to do what they feel their sons would have wanted."I think my son wanted to do that. That's why. I don't care what the people think. I don't care," said the emotional father of Guerrero.
It is unknown if Juan and Drew will be buried together, but it is presumed that they will be.
The Orlando shooting victims' families didn't find out the fate of both Guerrero and Leinonen at the same time. Guerrero's family found out that Juan was among the deceased shortly after the shooting was reported. Drew was not confirmed dead until Monday afternoon. His family didn't have contact with him but knew that Juan had been killed. They waited, hanging on to every last bit of hope they could find. Finding out that Drew was among the deceased was devastating.
His mother, Christine, has not spoken about her son's passing. However, it reportedly was her idea to have a joint funeral for her son and his boyfriend.
Juan and Drew had been dating for about two years. The two met after Juan came out to his parents. His family was very accepting of his sexuality and were supportive of the lifestyle he lived. It is presumed that Juan's family had met Drew and that they were happy because Juan was happy. The two guys lived together and were very much in love, according to family members. It is clear that their love was something very special.
"They were honestly so in love. They were soul mates. You can tell by how they looked at each other. It's a little comforting that they died together. If it's not a funeral, they were going to have a wedding together," said Guerrero's sister, Aryam, 24.
One of the Orlando shooting victims would have celebrated his 23rd birthday in just a few days. Guerrero's father said that their family will still celebrate and honor their son, remembering all of the wonderful times they had together as a family.
"My wife will cook all the food he likes. He was a beautiful kid, a hard worker, friendly, sweet person. I lost part of my life," he said.
It is unknown if Juan's family will be inviting Drew's family to the gathering.
The photo below was taken exactly one year ago. The brunch was celebrating Juan's 22nd birthday.The Orlando shooting victims will be remembered by their families forever. This unimaginable event has bonded the Guerreros and the Leinonens in a way that no one could begin to explain. A funeral date for Juan and Drew has not yet been announced.
[Image via Instagram]