Anguished relatives still await word of the fate of their loved ones after the deadly rampage at a club in Orlando early Sunday, but authorities have begun to release the names of some of the 50 people killed.
The 22 people identified come from all walks of life.
There’s Edward Sotomayor, a popular travel planner nicknamed “top-hat Eddie.” There’s Eddie Justice, an accountant who loved living in downtown Orlando.
Here’s what we know of the victims identified:
Edward Sotomayor Jr.
The 34-year-old Sarasota resident loved traveling, making new friends and black hats. So much so, his nickname was “top-hat Eddie.”
Friends paid numerous tributes on social media using emojis of black hats in his honor.
“Eddie was one sweetheart and I will miss talking and working with him. That smile and top hat is burned in my memory,” Nikki Stjames posted.
Sotomayor worked at a travel agency that catered to the gay community, and made his mark on clients as well.
“He was one of our tour leaders, known for wearing his top hat, and for being a really nice guy,” Robin Ziegler Suess posted on social media. “He was also a tour leader on our recent Caribbean cruise in January, where I had the honor of wearing his top hat.”
Al Ferguson, owner of Al & Chuck Travel where Sotomayor worked, described Sunday as “one of the saddest days” of his life.
Stanley Almodovar III
The 23-year-old pharmacy technician loved his family. And the feeling was mutual.
When he went out on that tragic night, his mother, Rosalie Ramos, made him a tomato and cheese dip , and put it in the refrigerator, she told the Orlando Sentinel.
But he never got to eat it. She got a phone call about the shooting in the middle of the night and rushed to the nightclub.
The last video he posted on social media showed him laughing and singing on the way to the club, Ramos told the paper.
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo
Of the people identified, the 20-year-old was the youngest victim killed in the shooting.
He was a dancer and a barista, according to a local blog dedicated to the victims .
Luis S. Vielma
Vielma, 22, worked at Universal Orlando, where he had superstar fans.
One of the people mourning his death is J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter book series. The author said Vielma worked on the Harry Potter ride at Universal.
“I can’t stop crying,” she tweeted.
Juan Ramon Guerrero
The 22-year-old worked as a telemarketer while attending the University of Central Florida.
“He was always this amazing person (and) he was like a big brother to me,” his cousin, Robert Guerrero, told CNN affiliate WESH.
Guerrero came out to his family this year, and was afraid they would not accept him, his cousin said.
But he had no reason to be. They not only accepted him, they embraced his boyfriend as well, Guerrero, said.
“As long as he was happy, they were OK with it,” he told the affiliate.
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera
The 36-year-old moved to Florida from Puerto Rico for a chance at a better life, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Ortiz-Rivera rarely went out, but decided to attend a friend’s house warming celebration at the nightclub early Sunday.
“I am really in shock that he was in the club, because he was not usually a club-scene person,” his former roommate, Abismel Colon Gomez, told the paper.
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz
At 22, he was among the youngest victims identified as killed in the shooting.
The 37-year old bouncer at Pulse nightclub always had a smile on her face. She was a big fan of basketball and MMA fighting, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
She moved from Hawaii to Florida a few months ago to help her mother and grandmother.
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice
The 30-year-old accountant lived in downtown Orlando.
Before he was identified as among those killed, his mother spent an agonizing day looking for him after he texted her from the club, according to CNN affiliate WFTV.
“Mommy I love you,” he said in his first message. “In club they shooting.”
His mother, Mina Justice, tried to call him, but he did not answer. She sent him a series of text messages, trying to reassure him that she’s called 911 and help is coming.
After they exchanged more messages, including one where he said the gunman was in their bathroom hideout, he suddenly went quiet.
A relative said the 25-year-old was an angel to most people who knew him.
Erick Leon, who described himself as his cousin, said their tie goes beyond family.
“My heart is heavy, we grew up together and now he is gone,” Leon posted on Facebook. “God took someone who was already an angel for so many people.”
Rayvon Murray Johnson said they used to work together at LaGuardia Airport in New York.
“Was such a funny and cool dude. He used to tell me, ‘don’t let world hold you back from your dreams,” he posted on Facebook. ” We use to talk about curry and God. … My heart is heavy, sleep well my brother. “
Rios’ partner and a relative confirmed his death to CNN.
Darryl Roman Burt II
Burt was 29.
Deonka Deidra Drayton
Drayton was 32.
Alejandro Barrios Martinez
At 21, Martinez was one of the youngest people killed.
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla
He was 25.
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez
Perez was 35.
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez
Velazquez was 50.
Alvear was only 25.
Martin Benitez Torres
Torres was 33.
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon
Wilson-Leon was 37.
Mercedez Marisol Flores
Flores was 26.
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado
Rosado was 35.
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez
Menendez was only 25.