Together for years, 2 Orlando club shooting victims to have joint memorial Friday

Mendez Perez (left) and Wilson-Leon. (Photos: via Facebook)

Mendez Perez (left) and Wilson-Leon. (Photos: via Facebook)

They were together romantically for eight years, and together they witnessed the terror of Omar Mateen, who on June 12 massacred 49 people who had been dancing, drinking and talking during Latin Night at Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando that catered to the LGBT community.

On Friday, together – naturally – Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37, and Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35, will be bid farewell by friends and family at the Funeraria San Juan Funeral Home in Kissimmee, Florida.

Israel Calderon, a pastor in Osceola County, told Fox News Latino that he will be at the service to console and provide spiritual support to mourners.

“They were a couple, together for a long time,” said Calderon – who said that while he has never personally met the men, he learned about them while working with the funeral home, lending support to victims' families.

Funeraria San Juan has served the local Puerto Rican and Latino community in Central Florida for more than a decade, funeral director Aracely Carmona told Fox News Latino.

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The funeral home has been helping the families of about six victims, thus far, of the nightclub rampage with services and burial plans.

“This is unlike any disaster we’ve ever dealt with,” the funeral home’s other director, Bob Healy, told the Wall Street Journal. “These were young kids … so full of life.”

Laly Santiago-Leon, Wilson-Leon’s cousin, told the Journal that after services at Funeraria San Juan, his body will be transported to Ponce, Puerto Rico, where it will be buried next week.

“It feels like a nightmare,” Santiago-Leon said. “But everybody has come together. The community is doing a great job.”

Mendez Perez, who worked at a fragrance shop, met Wilson-Leon about a decade ago when he sold him the fragrance Declaration by Cartier. 

Wilson-Leon "walked into the room and all eyes were on him because of his positive energy, just what he radiated ... I'm heartbroken," said Santiago-Leon, adding that the couple frequented Pulse and loved Latin Night.

Longtime friend Daniel Gmys-Casiano recalled that although Wilson-Leon had been bullied for his sexuality, "he never retaliated with hate ... He would stand to protect his friends."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for, and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente.