Every week between now and the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shootings, Orlando Weekly will profile a person killed on June 12, 2016. This week: Ángel Luis Candelario Padró
Ángel Candelario Padró was preparing to start a new chapter in his life. He would not live to see it through.
The 28-year-old, originally from Guánica, Puerto Rico, was to start a new job as an ophthalmic technician at Florida Retina Institute in Orlando on June 20. He had also recently found love. On June 12, Candelario Padró was at the gay nightclub Pulse with his boyfriend and friends when he was killed along with 48 others in a mass shooting.
The Florida Retina Institute says its physicians and employees were shocked and deeply saddened to hear about Candelario Padró's death.
"We were all looking forward to Angel becoming a part of our team of technicians and the FRI family," the Institute said in a statement. "We cannot express how deeply grieved we are at this horrible turn of events."
Before moving to Orlando, Candelario Padró lived in Chicago and worked for nearly two years at the Illinois College of Optometry. The college says he will be remembered for "his kindness, vivacious spirit, and passion for fitness and dancing."
"Our staff, faculty, and students are saddened by this tragedy and senseless loss of life," ICO said in a statement. "We will celebrate all that Angel was, and draw solace from his life and the imprint he made on our community."
His aunt Leticia Padró told Univision her nephew was "a good kid, without vices, very humble, respectful and studious."
Before moving to Florida, Candelario Padró was studying nursing at the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico and was a member of the National Guard. At his funeral on the island, he was buried in a white lab coat with his stethoscope. His coffin was draped with an American flag.
"My darling son," his mother, Lucyvette Padró wrote on Facebook. "You left me. It left emptiness in my soul that I can't forget. You left me. You were very special."
In one of his last Instagram posts from Chicago, Candelario Padró wrote, "I hate goodbyes. Life keeps going up, chasing dreams. Keeping good friends in my heart."