Honoring the life of Enrique Rios


The mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people and injured more than 50 others. Many are calling it the worst shooting in U.S. history.

The tragedy took a personal turn when authorities discovered one of the 49 victims was Enrique Rios, a Williamsburg native who went to Orlando to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Rios was a social worker who took personal care of elderly people. His mother, Gertrude Merced, described him as a loving person.

“His motto was that no matter how old they get, they should never be forgotten,” Merced said. “They have their experiences in life and they should be taken care of, always.”

Residents of Williamsburg and northern Brooklyn celebrated and honored his life at a recent vigil at Borinquen Plaza, where he was born. Read more about Rios, his life and the vigil here.

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