Sunday, July 30, 2017

An Oral History with Carmen Capo.

Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo was 20 years old when he was murdered at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. Pam Schwartz, interpreter Laura Cowie, and I sat with his mother Carmen Capo to learn a little about her son. I know very little Spanish, so the details are few until the interview is transcribed. Luis had recently moved to Orlando from Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career in acting and dancing. Carmen said that they were the first family to be told what had happened. In the days that followed the shooting, she kept hoping that he was alive. The first time she got to see him was at his funeral.

Luis worked for Target which held a memorial as did Starbucks. Target paid for his viewing and they went above and beyond to help the family. They hired several of Luis's brothers as managers after the shooting. On a table in the dining room area there were 15 albums of card and boxes of gifts from around the world.

Mini is a tiny chihuahua who barked incessantly when we first entered the house. Once we each let her smell our hands she calmed right down, napping for the duration of the oral history. Mini was Luis's baby, he spoiled that pup with doggie spas and doggie hotels. He would spend anything for the dog's health. Mini had a princess bed with curtains, a doggie bathing suit and a doggie car seat. She was clearly daddy's girl. After June 12th, the puppy ran to Luis's room and hid under the bed. To this day the dog looks at the door with anticipation anytime someone enters. She still thinks Luis might enter that door someday.

Carmen and Luis's dad have been separated for 15 years. He wasn't accepting of his son, and never gave him a dime in alimony. The dad wasn't in the picture for the other sons either. Carmen got a star tattoo with her son's name and birth date. She feels that her son finally achieved the stardom he had hoped for after his death.

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