Family, friends remember 21-year-old Orlando shooting victim

Cory Connell, 21, just returned to the U.S. from a mission trip to Haiti

Cory Connell died from his injuries following a shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The 49 victims of the Orlando shooting each had their own story and lives that ended too soon. First News reporter Molly Reed is from the Orlando area and knew one of the victims, 21-year-old Cory Connell.

He was enjoying Saturday night with his girlfriend at Pulse nightclub when they were caught in shooter Omar Matteen’s wrath. Both were taken to the hospital, where Connell later passed away from his injuries.

“Cory was one of those kinds of kids that would do anything and everything for someone. He would go without so they could go with,” said his brother, Ryan Connell. “He’s one of those kids that he would give his last meal to somebody who didn’t have it just because he knew they were more hungry than he was.”

“He always was such a nice guy. Whenever anyone needed something, he was always there if you needed him,” said Connell’s friend, Matt Loveland.

Connell was attending Valencia Community College in Orlando and wanted to be a sports broadcaster or an EMT. Ryan says his biggest love in life was always sports.

“He loved debating the sports, that was his thing. He loved sports. His favorite team was the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Hurricanes.”

Connell just returned to the U.S. from a mission trip to Haiti; an experience that made him want to continue to better the world around him.

The caption for a picture from the trip that he posted to Facebook reads: “The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.”

“Cory was always giving to people, and seeing that made him want to give more and do more,” Ryan said. “He was just such a good young man. We all referred to him in our family as our Superman.”

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