Candlelit Vigil Held For Mesa Skyline Grad Who Died In Orlando Shooting

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 7:40am
Updated: Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 8:19am
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Friends and family sign a frame of Jason Josaphat.
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Mesa community members and Josaphat's friends came together to remember him.

Mesa community members and students came out Wednesday to hold a candlelight vigil for a Valley man who was killed Sunday in the Orlando attacks.

Jason Josaphat was a graduate of Skyline High School. He was on the cheer squad — a fitting reminder when the candle-lit crowd chanted his name.

About 100 friends and family members gathered to speak about Josaphat. Many remembered him as bright and energetic, always with a smile.

Karla Padilla danced with Josaphat on the school hip hop team. She was wearing a shirt with his nickname, "Chocolate Drop," at the memorial.

“He was so full of life and happy and kind, and his smile could light up any dark room," she said.

Padilla said the strength of the LGBT community was felt in the dozens of people who came.

“There’s always gonna be fear, but they should be uniting, I want people to be happy the way they are,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday in Tempe, an LGBT advocacy group met with area Islamic leaders in a show of unity.

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