COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the world continues to mourn the victims of this weekend's attack in Orlando, we now know two victims have connections to the Midlands.
Deonka Drayton, 32, and Darryl 'DJ' Roman Burt II were among the dead found at Pulse in Orlando after a heavily-armed man walked into the nightclub and opened fire.
For those connected to the Drayton family, this has certainly been a heavy day to process. From what we've learned, Deonka's family still calls the Midlands their home. Deonka grew up in Eastover.
Burt, meanwhile, called the Midlands home for at least two years as a student at Claflin University in Orangeburg, according to school officials. Burt, Claflin officials said, majored in English and is a native of Avon, IN.
We've been told several of Drayton's relatives have made their way to Orlando. Drayton was one of the 49 lives lost inside the nightclub early Sunday morning. From what we gather, she had moved to Florida from the Midlands at some point. Her father still is a well-known figure in the community. Shepherd Drayton is the director of God Cares Charities. It runs four community thrift shops here in the Columbia area.
Drayton's girlfriend tells WIS the couple met in South Carolina and moved to Florida. Emmy Addison says Drayton was texting her during the shootings and told the gunman held her and others hostage in a bathroom. She said the last text she received from Drayton was at 2:34 when the gunman was in the bathroom saying, "if I die call my mom."
Addison said their 2-year-old son keeps asking here where his mommy is.
Drayton's funeral will be in South Carolina, but nothing has been arranged yet.