A father from Groton said the weekend's mass shooting in Orlando hit close to home because his son is a regular performer at the nightclub where it happened.
Bryan Welch said a small decision may have saved his son's life.
He told Eyewitness News that he went through so many emotions on Sunday. They ranged from relief that his son was safe to incredible sorrow for the families whose children were taken at the hands of hate.
Welch said he learned of the massacre in a panicked phone call from his son, Sleigher Gemini. Gemini performs at the Pulse club and had been working there Saturday night before deciding to go home.
"He called me in tears and woke me up just to tell me he was okay," Welch said. "And I asked him what was going on and he explained that the Pulse club in Orlando where he does drag was attacked."
Welch said he is immensely grateful that his son was not hurt. However, he is disgusted by the hatred the alleged shooter possessed.
"People need to realize we need to love each other," he said. "The macho has to go, the hatred has to go."
As a father in Groton breaths a sigh of relief, Eyewitness News learned that one of the victims was a Torrington woman.
Kimberly Morris, 37, was among the victims, according to a friend of hers. She started working security at the club last week.
Anyone looking to help the victims of the Pulse shooting, an official GoFundMe page has been set up here.
To see photos of the victims on your mobile device, click here.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.