— CNN (@CNN) June 14, 2016
Anderson Cooper fought back tears on Monday night while reading the names of 48 of the 49 victims identified in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest in U.S. history.
“We begin tonight with their names,” the openly gay CNN anchor said at the top of his prime-time show, standing just blocks away from Pulse, the site of Sunday’s massacre.
As he has done during coverage of previous mass killings, Cooper told viewers he would not say the gunman’s name or show his photograph.
“It’s been shown far too much already,” he said. “In the next two hours, we want to keep the focus where it belongs: on the people whose lives were cut short, and we’re going to start tonight by honoring them. They are more than a list of names; they were people who loved and were loved. They were people who had friends and families and dreams.”
The 49-year-old, who came out publicly in 2012, then read that list, along with their ages and bios, choking up as he did.
“We think it’s important that you hear their names,” Cooper concluded.
The newsman gathered himself, anchoring a two-hour program that included interviews with local officials, witnesses and survivors of the attack.
Before signing off, Cooper shared the news that the name of the 49th shooting victim had just been released: Geraldo Ortiz-Jimenez.
“We remember him and all those who loss their lives here,” Cooper said. “And all those who are still in hospitals struggling to recover from their wounds.”