PINECREST, FLA. (WSVN) - Two parents in Pinecrest lost their son in 2016 during the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. They said the death of their son has given them a new purpose — fighting to toughen gun laws.
Jerald “Jerry” Wright was one of 49 killed at Pulse.
“The inside of the club looked like a war had been fought because so many rounds had been fired. There was sheetrock, dust and everything all over,” said Maria Wright, the victim’s mother.
When everything settled, Wright was found dead with five bullet wounds to his body.
“We might never know if it was fast or if it was slow,” said Wright, “and we know we couldn’t help him or make it any easier for him.”
She and her husband, Frederick Wright, described their son as thoughtful, kind and considerate and that such violence and anger had no place in his lfe.
“He would meet with his neighbor, who was elderly, to have a glass of wine everyday, to check on her, make sure she was OK,” said the victim’s father. “You couldn’t find a nicer guy in the world. He was so nice to everybody.”
Their son was a Florida International University graduate and Disney employee.
“He wasn’t a genius. He wasn’t the greatest athlete. He wasn’t the coolest guy when it came to dressing. But he was a loving, loving human being,” said the victim’s mother.
Wright’s mother learned that her son had gone to Pulse the night of June 11 to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
“Because it was Latin night, and he loved Latin music,” said Wright’s father.
Afterward, they would receive no more calls from their son who would normally call them every day.
“I’m a positive person. I try to find a silver lining. It’s been really hard to do that here,” said Wright’s mother.
A year later, both parents said they feel close to their son by taking care of his dog, Rusty.
They also found a new purpose by fighting to toughen gun laws through universal background checks.
“It could be anyone’s child,” said Wright’s mother. “I still feel guilty that I didn’t do more before.”
“So I guess what I would like to ask people is don’t wait until it’s your child that’s lying dead on the floor with five bullet holes. Get involved now,” she said.
The Pulse shooter was identified as Omar Mateen. He had passed background checks prior to buying his guns, but he was on the FBI’s radar years earlier.
The Wrights said they blame lawmakers who, they said, did not do enough to pass gun legislation.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.