Anderson Cooper opened Monday night's broadcast of Anderson Cooper 360 with an emotional reading of the names of 48 of the 49 people that had been identified as those killed during the shooting at an Orlando, Florida nightclub early Sunday morning. "For the next two hours, we want to try to keep the focus where we think it belongs: on the people whose lives were cut short," he opened the show (clip below). "They're more than a list of names; they're people who loved and were loved. They're people with friends and families and dreams."
The usually reserved anchor, who is openly gay, choked up as he read the names, ages, and details about each of the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. He even took a moment to collect himself while reading off the first name on the list, Edward Sotomayor Jr., "who worked at a travel agency that catered to the gay community. His family says he was witty, charming, and that he always left things better than he found them."
Anderson also took a breath while tearing up at the conclusion of reading the list of names, which included Pulse employees, patrons, and their allies. He continued to pay tribute to the victims by listing all of their on his Twitter account Monday.
The broadcast did not include a photo or the name of the gunman in the attack because "it's been shown far too much already," Anderson said.
Anderson's good friend Andy Cohen, as well as many other celebrities, praised Anderson's display of compassion during the broadcast.