Orlando shooting victim Christopher Sanfeliz remembered at Gaither High vigil

- Forty-nine lives were taken in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Each one of them had a story.

We're learning more about a Tampa man, Christopher Sanfeliz, who was among those gunned down early Sunday morning. The 24-year-old was a Gaither High School graduate. Wednesday night, friends, family and former classmates held a vigil in his memory.

It was an emotional night as hundreds filled the stands at the football field. It brought out a lot of tears and feelings of grief as they wondered why a man whose life was about love could have his own life taken away by the hate of another.

"I never imagined I'd be standing here talking because Chris passed away," Nicole Arizarry said tearfully.

"I know he will be smiling down on everyone and watching over everyone," said Imary Rodriguez.
As the sun set, those who knew and loved Christopher said goodbye in their own ways. One way was through music.

"With each note we play we honor the memory of Chris," said Band Director Luis Alvarez.

Sanfeliz, a former marching band member, played the alma mater many times on that football field. Wednesday's performance was for him.

"Our music will never again be quite the same," Alvarez said. "This will be our reply to violence. To make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than every before."

Even through tears, friends and family can't help but laugh. It's one way they can begin to heal.

"Chris loved cottage cheese," a close friend said. "He loved Disney. He used to sing and walk around the house and sing Disney songs. He loved Selena, the movie."

Though they're struggling with his loss, friends are clinging to positivity, just like he did.

"Forget the hate and just love everybody and everything," said Kayti Good. "He was not a hateful person at all. The last thing from it. And this was just all about hate."

"It's horrible the way he passed," Arizarry said. "But, look at this, all that he's done. He's part of something that's going to change the world. It's brought so many people together. We love you so much."

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Orlando shooting victim Christopher Sanfeliz remembered at Gaither High vigil
  • N-word painted on Citrus Co. family's house
  • St. Pete's Manhattan Casino to become restaurant
  • Brooksville man arrested wearing Confederate Flag mask
  • Counties prepare for dueling rallies over Confederate monuments
  • Turtle trackers busy during peak hatching season
  • Manatee Co. Commission votes to leave Confederate monument in place
  • Kissimmee reeling after officers gunned down
  • Police: Students bring gun to high school football game
  • Solar eclipse glasses available Monday at some Bay Area libraries