Couple slain in Orlando to have joint funeral

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Juan Guerrero (left), 22, with his partner Christopher 'Drew' Leinonen (right), 32, were killed at Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. Credit: Christopher Andrew Leinonen/Facebook/Juan Ramon Guerrero/Instagram

ORLANDO — Instead of saying “I do” together, starting a family together or growing old together, Christopher “Drew” Leinonen and Juan Guerrero will lay together as their families say their final goodbyes.

Lienonen, 32, and Guerrero, 22, were both killed in the Orlando shooting, and their distraught loved ones told TIME they are planning a joint funeral to honor the men’s lives.

“I think my son wanted to do that. That’s why,” said Guerrero’s father, also named Juan Guerrero. “I don’t care what the people think. I don’t care.”

Guerrero’s sister Aryam Guerrero said the couple were “so in love,” and were supported by loving families on both sides.

The arrangements are a devastating foil to what could have been. “If it’s not a funeral,” she said, “They were going to have a wedding together.”

An Instagram photo posted by Guerrero in December shows the two young men posing with their respective families. “Christmas was perfect,” he wrote.

On the top part of the picture is Leinonen’s mother, Christine. Following Sunday morning’s shooting, she became one of the first faces of the tragedy when she spoke to ABC News about the agonizing wait for news about her son.

“It could be hours and hours before we find out. The hospital said there are some bodies at the hospital that came in and they died and they’re not identifiable yet either,” she said through tears.

A few hours later, she would find out her son didn’t make it, and neither did the man he loved.

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