San Francisco woman mourns loss of ex-girlfriend killed in Orlando shootings

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A San Francisco woman is mourning the loss of her ex-girlfriend who was one of the 49 victims, shot and killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning.  37-year-old Kimberly “KJ” Morris had just started her first week of work as a bouncer at the nightclub, said Starr Shelton of San Francisco.

Shelton and Morris had been living together in Hawaii but split up in March so that Shelton could move to San Francisco for graduate school, and so Morris could move to Orlando to care for her aging mother, Shelton said. 

On Sunday morning, Shelton says received several text messages from friends of Morris, asking if Shelton had heard from her.

“I knew that she was working at Pulse that night, so my heart hit the floor. I kept calling and texting but her phone kept going straight to voicemail,” Shelton said.  “My heart felt heavy, I just knew that something wasn’t right.”

Several hours later, Morris’ mother called Shelton and delivered the tragic news.  “I cried, I starting screaming, I hit the floor. How could something so violent happen to such a peaceful, good person?” Shelton said.

Despite the distance between them, Shelton said she and Morris still talked every day and were best friends. 

“I’m so thankful that I was able to have a person like her I could call my partner and my friend. She was just full of life, had so many passions. She loved music, she loved to dance,” Shelton said.  “I also want people to know that if she was here and she saw this type of thing occur and she wasn’t a victim of it, she would say to her LGBT community, don’t give up. Don’t run away, don’t be scared.  Stand your ground and don’t ever stop loving.”

Shelton is planning to travel to Orlando on Wednesday, to attend Morris’ funeral, which is scheduled for Thursday.