Mom Issues Heartbreaking Plea for Information on Son Who Is Missing After Pulse Shooting

Source: ABC News
Source: ABC News

Early Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire on the crowd in Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. According to Mayor Buddy Dyer, at least 50 are dead and more than 50 are wounded in the deadliest shooting ever to take place on U.S. soil. For families of the victims, information remains sparse. Christine Leinonen, whose son Christopher was at Pulse on Saturday night, is still waiting on answers as authorities seek to identify the casualties.

Just after 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Leinonen spoke with RTE News and made a tearful plea for information on her son's whereabouts, explaining that she hasn't been able to get ahold of him after multiple texts and calls. She later told ABC News that she woke up at 3 a.m. and by chance, checked her Facebook page. She learned about the shooting from a post by one of Christopher's friends and immediately went to the hospital.

"They said there's a lot of dead bodies in the club and that it's a crime scene ... so it could be hours and hours before we find out," she told ABC. "The hospital said there are some bodies at the hospital that came in and they died and they're not identifiable yet either."

According to Leinonen, Christopher's boyfriend has been identified as one of the wounded by the 29-year-old suspected gunman Omar Mateen. Christopher's friend, Brandon, saw an ambulance take away the boyfriend but didn't see Leinonen's son. While she waited for updates, she told ABC that she was proud of her son and his active involvement in the LGBT community, and she made an emotional appeal for unity.

"Please let's all just get along," Leinonen said. "We're on this earth for such a short time let's try to get rid of the hatred and the violence please."

Read more:
Hundreds Line Up to Donate Blood in Wake of Pulse Nightclub Massacre
Father of Pulse Nightclub Shooting Suspect Says Massacre Motivated by Anti-LGBT Views
Bernie Sanders Just Nailed the Real Culprit Behind the Mass Shooting in Orlando

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

South Carolina woman faces charges for ripping Confederate battle flag off driver's truck

The woman reportedly backed into the owner's truck, then fled the scene.

These amazing photos marking the end of Ramadan show how Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Twitter users flooded social media with selfies and family snaps.

Philando Castile's family reaches $3 million settlement with Minnesota police

The settlement is the latest in a string of multi-million-dollar payouts that have followed police-involved deaths of African-Americans.

Chance the Rapper demands justice for Chicago at BET Awards, with an assist from Michelle Obama

Two high-profile Chicago natives call for action.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.

South Carolina woman faces charges for ripping Confederate battle flag off driver's truck

The woman reportedly backed into the owner's truck, then fled the scene.

These amazing photos marking the end of Ramadan show how Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Twitter users flooded social media with selfies and family snaps.

Philando Castile's family reaches $3 million settlement with Minnesota police

The settlement is the latest in a string of multi-million-dollar payouts that have followed police-involved deaths of African-Americans.

Chance the Rapper demands justice for Chicago at BET Awards, with an assist from Michelle Obama

Two high-profile Chicago natives call for action.

Burned Quran stuffed with bacon found outside California mosque

This isn't the first time bacon has been used as an act of provocation against Muslims.

Charleena Lyles was a "powerful lady" — until she faced Seattle's flawed criminal justice system

Like Charleena Lyles, women who experience mental health instabilities have been more likely than men to encounter a criminal justice system that is ill-equipped to treat them.