49 Birds Appear Over Orlando Shooting Victims Candlelight Vigil: 'We Were All Stunned'
In what many are calling a sign from above, a flock of 49 birds flew over an Orlando memorial dedicated to the 49 victims who lost their lives Sunday in the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse.
Only sobs could be heard in the pauses between readings of the 49 victims’ names during a candlelight vigil at the Dr. Philips Performing Arts Center Monday, the unnamed woman who snapped the photo told CNN.
She was there mourning the loss of a loved one when she noticed birds soaring above and decided to take a photo.
The photographer, who wished to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the victims, said she was unaware of the number of birds up overhead when she took the picture.
“I then showed everyone around me and had them count,” she told CNN. “We were all stunned.”
A spokesman for the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center said the center did not release any birds during the vigil.
About 60 miles away at a separate vigil, 49 doves were released, but the birds in the picture from the Dr. Philips Performing Arts Center event appear to be black.
“Seeing the birds made me feel a sense of peace about the tragedy,” the woman told CNN.
Others who saw the photo felt the same way, taking to social media to express their awe at the photo.
“God works in mysterious ways!” one person wrote on Facebook.
Another person posted: “It is important to find something positive when something so horrific happens … This made me both sad for the loss of life and peaceful for the sense that those who died are together in a spiritual place.”
The City of Orlando released a full list of the victims, writing: "To the families and friends of the victims, your city is with you and will continue to be with you as you deal with this unimaginable tragedy.”
The names of the victims are:
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old