WRITTEN BY VALERIE KAUFMANN
St. Francis College student Enrique Rios was among those killed in Sunday’s attack on a Florida nightclub that left 49 dead.
The 25-year-old transferred to St. Francis College in 2015 and was pursuing a degree in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work.
“Sadly his dreams were cut short during this vicious assault,” SFC President Brendan Dugan said in a news release.
The Bed-Stuy resident worked at True Care Home Health Agency in Kensington and was visiting Florida for a friend’s birthday, reports said.
Gunman Omar Mir Seddique Mateen entered Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and began shooting patrons at about 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, according to officials.
Mateen took hostages, and a standoff of three hours ensued before police crashed into the building with an armored vehicle and killed the shooter.
The choice of location, a gay club, has shaken members of the LGBTQ community. Others have focused on a call made by Mateen to 911 during the incident, where authorities say he pledged loyalty to terrorist group ISIS.
Details continue to reveal themselves — the Los Angeles Times reports that Pulse patrons had seen Mateen frequent the club prior to the attack, while the FBI continues to investigate what knowledge Mateen’s wife had of his intentions. Meanwhile, the families of victims continue to struggle to make sense of the violence.
“Any attack against or brutalization of any person is unjustified under any circumstance and is in opposition to living the Franciscan message of peace and all good,” Dugan said. “This attack was close to our hearts and particularly disturbing as one of our students was a victim of this brutal act of violence.”
Counseling and grief support are available for St. Francis students and faculty. For more information, call Dean of Students Jose Rodriguez at 718-489-3515 during business hours or after hours at 347-633-1374.