SWFL connections to Orlando shootings

Posted at 11:35 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 23:35:24-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - The Orlando massacre is hitting close to home. A local entertainer tells Four in your Corner how several of his friends were gunned down at Pulse nightclub. He also tells us one of the club's dancers is from Fort Myers and was at the club Saturday night.

As more information is released about what happened, it’s tearing at the heart of Southwest Florida's LGBT community. Andy Spaulding is a well-known drag queen in Southwest Florida. He has a regular day job but at night he becomes ‘Alyssa lLeMay’. LeMay tells us his Orlando friends are devastated and, "The ones that I know who were there are numb."

On Sunday morning Lemay's cell phone was blowing up as worried friends began texting him. LeMay says, "First I got the ones like ‘are you okay?’ and a couple are 'have you heard from this entertainer and that entertainer?’, just people who worked there."

Lemay tells Four in your Corner that four of his friends were shot, two of them were killed; including Luis Conde. Conde was at the club 'Pulse' with Justin Pham. We’re told Pham dances there and is originally from Fort Myers. Lemay tells us Pham left the club Saturday night, just moments before the shooting.

He says,"The last thing he said to his friends was ‘have a good night and they said get home safe’ and he said he left maybe 20 minutes before the shootings happened and he said they told me to be safe and look what happened to them."

Lemay says one of his friends survived by taking drastic measures to escape, "He was one of the ones who crawled through the air conditioning vent to get outside." For Lemay, the shootings are a sobering reminder of just how dangerous his job can be. He tells us, "Someone could easily turn around and shoot me because to them I'm a freak."

We're also learning there will be a candlelight vigil at Centennial Park in Fort Myers on May 18th at 7pm.