NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One of the 49 victims killed in a mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning was a 20-year-old Rutherford County graduate.
Luis Omar Ocasio Capo graduated from La Vergne High School in 2015. Monday night, the high school parking lot served as a spot for friends and community members to mourn his loss.
“The pain and the suffering it’s indescribable,” said friend Ambar Lugo. “He was the light. Everybody’s light. He was just a happy person all around.”
Lugo says, Omar primarily lived with his mother in Florida but he came to La Vergne to spend his senior year with his sisters and father.
“His father loved him very much,” said family friend Samuel Gonzalez. “He still don’t believe it happened, so he’s kind of in shock right now. They’re not doing very well right now.”
Gonzalez says Omar was openly gay and his family was very accepting. His father learned about the shooting on Facebook.
“He was trying to call him and call him and he didn’t answer the phone,” said Gonzalez. “Next thing they knew, he was third on the list of victims.”
La Vergne has a large Hispanic population. The mayor estimates about 25 percent of La Vergne residents are Latino.
“It hits home,” said Mayor Dennis Waldron. “I can only imagine the grief his parents and family are going through.”
The mayor said he was there when Omar graduated from high school last year.
“When I figured it out, it was so crazy that someone from here was in Orlando when it happened,” said Class President Kelly Rodriguez, who handed Luis his diploma last May.
“Just imagining how he felt going from such a good time to things going crazy, that is what hit me,” she continued. “I was friends with his cousin. They were always together and he was with his family and he was bubbly and laughing all the time. We were right next to each other not so long ago.”
News 2 has also learned Luis worked at the Target in Smyrna for a time.
“Our entire team is deeply saddened with the sudden loss of a friend,” manager Phillip Niedergese said.
“This affects everyone and our hearts are mourning for the families of not only the local resident here, but all the families in Orlando,” Rachel Heggen with the City of La Vergne added.
A memorial was growing at La Vergne high school when News 2 was there.
Many said they felt compelled to come there to mourn this tragedy.