“They were honestly so in love. They were soul mates. You can tell by how they looked at each other,”Aryam Guerrero told the magazine. “It’s a little comforting that they died together.”
“If it’s not a funeral, they were going to have a wedding together,” Guerrero said. The family received word very early on that they were among those who had lost a loved one, but Guerrero’s fate was not known until midday Monday.
Leinonen’s mother said she suddenly was awakened at 3 a.m. the morning of the shootings, and upon hearing the news drove to Pulse to begin a vigil. She broke down in tears as she pleaded on local and national television for confirmation that her son was among the victims, and called for an end to assault weapon-fueled mass shootings.
Leinonen’s father speaks up on page 2.
Leinonen’s father, a retired Detroit cop, is also speaking out, about his son, and about what he called “antigun politicians.” He wrote a letter to the Detroit News:
“His name was Christopher Andrew Leinonen, he went by the nickname of ‘Drew’ and he was gay, a fact I only learned about 5 years ago. While I was not thrilled to learn of his orientation, I accepted it as the way he was pre wired-when born. He was handsome, personable, brilliant and loved vintage movies. He grew-up, got a master’s degree and became a practicing psychologist…
“The killer was armed and his helpless victims were not, yet the anti gun politicians still want to disarm the populace, enabling these scenarios. It is likely such attacks will continue, until the victims start shooting back. That’s the lesson I take from this, for what it’s worth. When the shooting started Saturday night, I’ll bet there wasn’t a person in the club who wouldn’t have traded everything he owned in the world, for a loaded gun.”
Leinonen turned 32 on June 1. His boyfriend would have celebrated his 23rd birthday in a few days, and Time reports the Guerrero family is planning a party to celebrate his life. “My wife will cook all the food he likes,” his father told the magazine. “He was a beautiful kid, a hard worker, friendly, sweet person.”
The night before the massacre, a local nightclub photographer snapped what may be the last photograph of the couple together. Melody Maia Monet shared their picture on Instagram and Facebook, in hopes it would reach their families. It shows Leinonen flashing a peace sign, and has been shared hundreds of times.
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I just looked through the photos I took on Friday night at Southern Nights and found that I took a photo of Juan Ramon Guerrero and his boyfriend Drew Leinonen. Drew's mom is Christine Leinonen who has been all over the national news looking for her son. Juan has been confirmed deceased. Update: Drew has also been confirmed as deceased. I am haunted that I may have taken the last photo of them together. I can't even process this. They were so beautiful. If anyone knows the Leinonen family, please send them the photo. #pulse #gay #bisexual #girlslikeus #lesbian #transgender #orlandostrong #southernnightsorlando #queer #christopherleinonen #juanramonguerrero