TAMPA – Pulse shooting survivor Chris Brodman died in the early morning hours while attending a friend’s birthday party in North Tampa Sept. 11.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Brodman’s identity Sept. 13 after notifying his next of kin.
Deputies found Brodman laying in the backyard of the Tampa residence unconscious, according to a HCSO press release. Several people and paramedics with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue attempted CPR to no avail. Brodman was pronounced deceased on scene.
“The medical examiner’s preliminary examination showed no physical signs of homicidal violence,” HCSO Public Information Office Larry McKinnon says. “Now it’s a matter of forensics and toxicology to come back from the Medical Examiner’s Office to come up with the official cause of death.”
Brodman’s boyfriend, Cord Cedeno, took to Facebook with pictures of the two of them together, expressing his grief.
“I still can’t believe my baby is gone. I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe, I don’t know how I’m going to go on without him,” Cedeno wrote.
Cedono started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Brodman’s funeral expenses, writing, “No one deserved to die like he did and making sure his memory lives on is my main goal.”
While the HCSO said there was no evidence of homicidal violence, Cedono seemed to be indicating differently.
“I won’t let whoever did this take away what an amazing person he was and the memories we made together,” Cedono continued in his post on the GoFundMe page. “He deserves justice. Our families are working together to make sure he is laid to rest in peace and remembered for the kind and good man he was.”
The GoFundMe page raised more than $1,500 in the week after Brodman’s death.
Brodman appeared in a Univision documentary with best friend Ramses Tinoco after the shooting at Pulse. Tinoco, like Brodman, was there the night of the shooting.
“Chris was like a little brother to me. He was always passionate about life, always traveling, always happy,” Tinoco says. “After everything at Pulse, he was a tremendous support for me and comforted me.”
Tinoco says after the Pulse shooting Brodman’s demeanor had changed, something Brodman addressed in the Univision documentary.
“Physically, I have gone through being really hyped up and nervous and on edge to being completely drained, physically and emotionally. I didn’t really feel any emotion, I just felt dead inside. I hated that feeling. I’d rather feel scared, because then I’m alive, you know? Feel something, [rather] than feel nothing at all,” Brodman said.
Tinoco says that both he and Brodman were still seeking counseling because of the Pulse shooting.
“Chris was having a rough time this year. He ended a seven-year relationship with his partner, then everything at Pulse, but he was starting to do much better. Cord and him started dating after Pulse and seemed to really like each other,” Tinoco says. “It was nice that he had found someone.”
Brodman went to get a tattoo days after he escaped Pulse.
“I know aspects of me are changed because of what happened. It’s a night I’m not going to forget, so I figured in memorial of the victims, I want to get this done,” Brodman said to Univision.
Tinoco did not attend the party in Tampa the night Brodman died. Cedono contacted him the next morning to tell him his friend had passed away.
Pulse survivor Orlando Torres also received a call from Cedono about Brodman’s death. Torres appeared in the Univision documentary as well and was close friends with Brodman.
“It was supposed to be a fun night. They were supposed to go out there and just, you know, have a fun night out there in Tampa,” said Torres to Orlando’s WKMG News 6. “His boyfriend posted on Facebook, as well as my friend posted on Facebook, that Chris Brodman had passed away.”
The HCSO will not be releasing more information pending further investigation.