Son collapses into tears at funeral of mother who protected him from Orlando shooter
ORLANDO, Fla. — Brenda Lee Marquez-McCool was dancing with her son Isaiah Henderson at Pulse nightclub when shots rang out over the blaring music.
Instead of running away, she threw herself on her son, shielding him from the bullets fired by shooter Omar Mateen. She saved his life but lost her own.
“I never thought that her life would be ended right in front of my eyes,” he said, before collapsing in tears. “My mother accepted everyone with open arms. She loved everybody equally no matter what.”
His brothers rushed to the pulpit to hold him up and console him.
“I haven’t stopped crying since,” Henderson said.
The funeral was also full of humor and colorful moments as Marquez-McCool’s family remembered her life. She was repeatedly referred to as a resilient woman who was a family leader and a fighter.
Henderson said he and his mother used to wrestle and “play fight,” adding that his mother always won. “I obviously lost. She’s a linebacker!” he joked. His family roared with laughter.
Many of Marquez-McCool’s 11 children spoke. Michael Santos, her brother, was the only one of her siblings to offer words of remembrance, though he struggled at times to get through them.