Sunday’s Orlando mass shooting at Pulse nightclub took the lives of many men and women who were just out trying to enjoy themselves.
But the two youngest victims of the massacre were only teenagers with bright futures ahead of them. Jason Benjamin Josaphat was a 19-year-old computer savvy young man who loved to work out and had an interest in photography.
According to his uncle, Josaphat “was very excited about his journey.” He had recently graduated from high school and begun classes at Valencia College.
Family revealed that Jason called his mother from the nightclub early Sunday morning while someone was shooting. She told him to hide in a bathroom stall, while she called 911. Josaphat’s family learned Monday morning that the teen had been killed after a long day of waiting and wondering.
The youngest victim of the tragedy, 18-year-old Akyra Murray, was celebrating her high school graduation with her cousin and a friend Saturday night when the shooting occurred. Her mother, Natalie Murray, said she received a text message from her daughter around 2 a.m., saying she had been shot and to come pick her up.
Natalie revealed that her daughter called her, saying, “She was shot and she was screaming, saying she was losing a lot of blood. I just tried to tell her to remain calm and apply pressure to the wound. All I could hear was my baby screaming.”
It took her Akyra’s parents 27 hours of searching hospital to hospital before they finally received a call that she was among the 49 victims. She bled to death while hiding inside one of the nightclub’s bathroom stalls.
Murray’s death came less than a week after she graduated third in her class at West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia. She was in Florida on vacation with her parents.