Ortiz was a graduate student in engineering from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, according to his wife, Liselle Vega Cortes. Ortiz had left Puerto Rico with his new bride only months earlier. "I heard about the shooting over the radio and I called but he didn't answer. When I got home and my wife was crying I realized it was something serious," his father, also called Juan Ramon Ortiz, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The younger Ortiz, 26, is the only Puerto Rican victim identified from Monday's massacre. His father said he was teaching a class as part of his graduate program in civil engineering when the gunman took his life. "He was an extraordinary son, what any father would have wanted," he said.
The family's neighbors remembered Ortiz as a quiet, dedicated son who decorated his parents' one-story concrete house each Christmas and played in a salsa band with his father on weekends. Marilys Alvarez, 22, heard Ortiz's mother scream from the house next door when she learned of her son's death. Alvarez said she had wanted to study in the United States, but was now reconsidering. "Here the violence is bad, but you don't see that," she said. "It's really sad. You can't go anywhere now."
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