Friends hold vigil for Mesa man killed in Orlando shooting

Posted at 3:42 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 07:21:35-04

A vigil was held Wednesday night to honor the youngest victim in the Orlando, Florida, shooting attack.

Jason Josaphat, 19, graduated from high school in Mesa, and his friends held a candlelight vigil in his memory at the Skyline Park in Mesa near Crismon and Southern roads.

Alexis "Lex" Shaffer-Lopez knew Jason growing up. They were neighbors and attending high school together. She said she wishes that she had one last chance to speak with him.

"I miss him a lot. And me and him were fighting right before he passed," Shaffer-Lopez said. "I wish I got a chance to tell him I was sorry."

Shaffer-Lopez says as soon as she heard Jason was one of the victims, she and another friend started planning the vigil, and it went viral.

Many friends wore T-shirts that said "R.I.P. Chocolate Drop."

"One day I just called him chocolate drop and he loved it,” friend Karla Padilla said. "He used it ever since."

Josaphat’s aunt spoke to the crowd, telling them that life is too short and they need to choose to love one another. 

"I want people to remember my nephew, Jason, the gymnastic boy," she said.

Many people at the vigil said they would honor Jason by supporting the LGBT community.