Family, friends remember mom of 11 killed in Pulse shooting

Brenda McCool beat cancer twice, shielded son from bullets


ORLANDO, Fla. – Friends and family said their final goodbyes to 49-year-old Brenda McCool as music filled the First United Methodist Church Monday afternoon.

Mayor Buddy Dyer was also at the service and talked about her bravery.

"Our community continues to grieve and heal and we will be stronger because of people like Brenda. We'll never forget Brenda," said Dyer.

The mother of 11 risked her life to save her 21-year-old son by telling him to get down while she shielded him from the bullets.

"Brenda Marquez was a beautiful person. She always looked out for her kids and she lost her life protecting one of them," said "Flaco," McCool's relative.

While the service was going on inside, dozens of bikers from the Latin American Motorcycle Association gathered outside to protect the family from protestors. They said McCool participated in their events, cookouts and other gatherings. Now, they wanted to show their support.

"Everybody's been looking out for one another. Everybody's been supporting one another. Orlando is Orlando," said Flaco.

After the service, the family released 49 balloons to remember all 49 victims of the Pulse Shooting.

Mayor Dyer also declared June 20 as a citywide day of mourning to honor the memory of McCool.

McCool's children has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses.  

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