Speaking to ABC News, Christine Leinonen described finding out about the shooting through a Facebook post one of her son's friends had posted. Her son, Christopher Leinonen, was in Pulse with his boyfriend, Juan Ramon Guerrero, and friends at the time of the shooting. She arrived at the hospital at 4 AM to await any updates about the status of her son.
"They said there's a lot of dead bodies at the club and it's a crime scene," Leinonen said. "They can't identify anybody, so it could be hours and hours before we find out."
Leinonen told ABC that she had not spoken to her son since she called him on the phone the evening before. "I was just giving some information that he was going to need to know for my upcoming surgery, and that I left him with, 'I love you, Chris.'"
As the interview came to a close, Leinonen paid a moving tribute to her son's short life, recalling how he'd won a humanitarian award for starting a gay straight alliance at his high school. She begged, "Please let's all just get along. We're all on this earth for such a short time. Let's try to get rid of the hatred and the violence."
It has since been revealed that Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32, and his boyfriend, Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, are among the fifty people who were killed at Pulse.
\u201cMother of man who was at Orlando club: "There's a lot of dead bodies at the club...they can't identify anybody." https://t.co/KXKy7t4Bpr\u201d