ORLANDO – Zee Renta and Jai Saint were among the first to arrive Monday morning at a community center serving as a reception area for family and friends of victims of the Pulse nightclub shootings.
“Shane Tomlinson. He’s my best friend,” Saint said. “I started receiving calls on Saturday about 4 a.m.”
Renta eagerly showed Tomlinson’s photo to the scrum of reporters who gathered around her, then gave out her phone number.
“We just want to find our friend, that’s all,” she said with a quaking voice, holding up her phone with his most recent social media profile photo. “This is Shane. If anybody has seen Shane Tomlinson, please, let us know. We know he’s good. He’s alive. He has to be. He’s too strong. He’s just too strong.”
By Monday afternoon, authorities had provided a grim update. Tomlinson, 33, was among the dead.
Described by his friend as an amazing performer, he was the lead singer for Orlando-based Frequency Band, which had just played the Blue Martini on Orlando’s tourist-friendly International Drive.
A search of public records indicated Tomlinson, who attended East Carolina University in Greenville, had lived in Atlanta in the past.
His band’s Facebook page has become a tribute to him, and this past video clip is now pinned to the top: