TAMPA — Cynthia Lorenzo, clutched a wood-framed picture of her best friend, Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, to her chest as tears slid down her face.
Lorenzo, 27, of Tampa remembered him as an amazing person.
"He was always there for me when I needed him," she said. "He always showed me that he loved me."
About 1,000 people showed up at Gaither High School on Wednesday night to remember Sanfeliz, 24, who died early Sunday at Pulse, the Orlando gay nightclub that was targeted in a mass shooting.
Sanfeliz was one of 49 people killed by gunman Omar Mateen in the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Candles were handed out and donations were collected for the family at the memorial. There were also small cards for people to write memories they had of Sanfeliz, who graduated from Gaither in 2010. About 100 were written.
Sumer Mctavish, 24, wrote that she remembers his smile the most.
Mctavish took anatomy with Sanfeliz in the 12th grade. She was also in the chorus, and she would often see Sanfeliz because they were grouped in the same music program.
"He was always a sweet person," she said. "He was always smiling."
Sanfeliz played the trumpet in the school's marching band. The current marching band of about 80 students played the school's alma mater to honor Sanfeliz.
Gaither band alums also joined the musicians on the football field to honor Sanfeliz.
Sanfeliz later went to attend Hillsborough Community College. He worked as a personal banker at JP Morgan Chase in Tampa, where he and Lorenzo became best friends.
His brother, Junior Sanfeliz, organized a GoFundMe campaign to honor him. About $20,000 has been raised so far. The money donated will help fund inclusive programs at Gaither.
Contact Ariana Figueroa at [email protected] or (813) 226- 3350. Follow @ArianaLFigueroa.