This Orlando Shooting Victim Died While Shielding Her Son From Bullets
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was one of the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting on Sunday.
McCool was 49, a cancer survivor and the mother of 11 children. One of those children was Isaiah Henderson, 21. McCool was at Pulse that night to dance with her son.
She had moved to Orlando to be with her son and youngest children. Anderson Cooper said about her,
She had 11 kids, beat cancer twice and often went dancing at Pulse with her gay son -- she supported him that much.
McCool supported her son so much that she saved his life during the shooting, according to her sister-in-law Ada Pressley, who was inside Pulse during the attack. Pressley said,
Brenda saw him point the gun. She said, 'Get down,' to Isaiah and she got in front of him. She was shot dead. That's how much she loved her kids.
The mother was at Pulse that night with her son celebrating the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York. Normally she goes to New York for the parade but did not this year. She was shot twice during the attack.
McCool's oldest daughter, Khalisha Pressley, told NBC News that her mother was "the sweetest lovingest person in the world."
Henderson called Khalisha after the shooting, screaming. His mother died in front of him and he "feels it was his fault."
Robert Vince Pressley Sr., her ex-husband, told NBC,
She was a good mother [and] a good provider ... She was always trying to help people, taking people in who had no place to live.
McCool married a few times and lived in New York City, California and Florida.
Her fifth oldest son, Farrell Marshall, started a GoFundMe to help pay for her funeral and care for her children. Marshall wrote,
You will forever be in our hearts. Always. I truly love you so much MOM!