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Orlando shooting: Son of woman who made heartbreaking TV appeal confirmed among the dead

By Fabio Crispim

The son of a woman who made an emotional TV appearance as she waited for information about his whereabouts following yesterday’s tragic shooting in Orlando has been confirmed among the dead.

Footage of Christine Leinonen’s emotional plea for everyone to “just get along” in the aftermath of the attack by gunman Omar Mateen, which left 50 dead and 53 injured, was widely shared on social media yesterday.

Amidst tears, Leinonen told ABC News that she had been waiting since 4am to hear about her son Christopher and his boyfriend, who had attened the Latin-themed salsa night at Pulse club.

She told the host that the last time she had spoken to her son was 6pm on Saturday (June 11).

“I left him with, ‘I love you, Chris,” she said.

Christina Leinonen 2

In a heartbreaking update this morning, ABC News reports that Christopher has now been confirmed among the dead.

The fate of his boyfriend, who was taken to hospital in with multiple gunshot wounds in the aftermath of the attack, is unknown.

In her emotional interview, Leinonen spoke of her pride at of her son and his gay rights activism.

“I wanted to let you know about my son,” she said. “When he was in high school, he started the Gay-Straight Alliance, and he won the humanitarian award to bring gays and straights together.

“I’ve been so proud of him for that.”

Leinonen ended the interview by saying: “Please let’s all just get along. We’re on this earth for such a short time let’s try to get rid of the hatred and the violence.


A vigil will be held in London’s Soho at 7pm to pay tribute to the victims of the LGBT shooting.

More stories:
Barack Obama pays tribute to LGBT victims of Orlando gay club massacre
Guardian columnist walks out of Sky News interview while discussing Orlando shooting