ORLANDO – Relatives of a mother killed in the Orlando shooting say she died protecting her son.
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49, was celebrating with her son, Isaiah Henderson, at Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire.
Just two hours before police say the gunman started shooting, McCool posted a video on her Facebook page of dancing inside the club.
According to family members, McCool loved her kids. Family members say her last act was to protect her son.
“Brenda saw him point the gun. She said, ‘Get down,’ to Isaiah and she got in front of him,” sister-in-law Ada Pressley told the New York Daily News. “She was shot dead. That’s how much she loved her kids. If it weren’t for her, he’d of been shot.”
Henderson and McCool were both hit by bullets. She died, but Henderson survived.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by the family, McCool beat cancer twice.
“She just went out last night and said goodbye to her children and to be called 3 hours later that she has been hit by 2 gunshots and later pronounced dead,” wrote her fifth oldest son, Farrell Marshall.
Henderson posted video on his Facebook page of an interview of another survivor talking about McCool. The man, Carlos Rosario, said McCool was like the “mom of Pulse.” Rosario described her as caring, cool and supportive.
“I was talking about how I liked her bag and she started smiling and she told me, ‘Well, I like your smile.’ That was the last thing she said to me,” Rosario said.
McCool has 7 boys and 4 girls.
One of her sons put up a GoFundMe account to pay for McCool’s funeral arrangements.
The family is asking for prayers.