Monday, June 25, 2018
Become a supporter.
Get involved, now.

Community mourns death of Haitian-American teen at Orlando nightclub

Samuel Maxime


ORLANDO, Florida, USA ( – A Haitian family waited an agonizing day and a half to find out their son, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, was among those killed in Sunday’s Orlando nightclub massacre.

Jason Josaphat: Soft Spoken Teen Was Excited for Journey Ahead

Josaphat, 19, was the second youngest victim in the shooting and was studying computer science at Valencia Community College and finding an interest in photography. [VIDEO]

His mother said he called from the Pulse nightclub and told them that a shooting was taking place. His mother called 911 on another phone and told him to get out as the gunfire sounded to get closer.

The family spent Sunday trying to find out what happened to the young man, calling friends and posting messages on Facebook. They were sent home after checking the hospital Sunday night, returning Monday to tragic news.

Skyline High School, where Jason Josaphat had graduated held a candlelight vigil for him Wednesday night, June 15, 2016. Friends say he was athletic enough to play on the football team but took part in cheer instead.

Less than two weeks ago, Josaphat graduated from Southern Technical College’s business office specialist program, according to Martin Levert, the college’s executive director. Levert called Josaphat “an exceptional student.”

Levert said Southern Technical College is working with OneBlood to host a blood drive Wednesday on its Orlando campus at The Florida Mall, dedicated in Josaphat’s memory.

Jason Josaphat was a computer science major and was beginning to find interest in photography. He is among 49 victims dead from the shooting and 53 injured in what authorities are calling the deadliest-ever mass killing in the United States.

An earlier version of this article stated Josaphat was the youngest murdered at the nightclub. Since all victims’ names been released this has changed and this article has been updated to reflect that.

Become a Patron and get Haiti Sentinel and Defend Haiti merchandise.

About The Author

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.