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: Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo spent his final hours doing what he loved the most: dancing.
Known to people by his second name, Omar, the 20-year-old danced to anything you put on, be it salsa, bachata, hip-hop or one of the many cultural dances he participated in as a child, says his sister, Belinnette Ocasio-Capo.
"Omar was a such a happy person," she says. "Everything he did was all smiles. He was the peacemaker in the family."
From their childhood in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to their later youth in Cleveland, Ocasio-Capo and his siblings were always dancing at parades, festivals and in front of celebrities, his sister says. After graduating from La Vergne High School in Tennessee, Ocasio-Capo moved to Kissimmee with his mother and worked at a Starbucks inside a Target. He had also registered for theater classes at Valencia College, which he was supposed to start the week of June 12.
"He always wanted to do theater and be an actor," Belinnette Ocasio-Capo says. "He always said his face was going to take him to Hollywood. Everyone who knows Omar knows he had two dreams: He wanted to become famous, and he wanted to take my mom out of the poor, like he would say. He wanted my mom to feel so proud of him."
His sister says before Ocasio-Capo left with a friend to the gay nightclub Pulse, he hugged his mother tight. His mother jokingly asked him, "Are you going to die today that you miss me so much?"
"My mom asked him not to go, but he said he didn't want to leave anyone hanging," his sister says. "He gave her a big kiss and he told her, 'Mamí, I'll see you later.' Then later never happened."
Ocasio-Capo died along with 48 others in a mass shooting at Pulse. Belinnette Ocasio-Capo says she keeps her brother's memory alive by remembering him as he was: a dancer who loved WWE, the Bad Girls Club and his hair on fleek.
"He was my protector," she says. "He cared about everyone and everyone loved him."
– Monivette Cordeiro