Orange County Medical Examiner Issues Statement

Statement from Orange County's Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Joshua Stephany on behalf of the Orange County Medical Examiner's Office:

"This has been the most difficult week for our community. I’d like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of singer Christina Grimmie, the Pulse nightclub shooting victims and 2-year-old Lane Graves.

Our commitment to these families has not only been to assist law enforcement with their investigations, but to ensure families receive the necessary care and support during this difficult time as well as reunite them with their loved ones.

I am fortunate to work alongside a dedicated team, who tirelessly worked to accomplish and conclude this process.

The Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS) and law enforcement were instrumental in response to the Pulse shooting. Together, we effectively and efficiently completed the identification, notification and autopsy process within a 72-hour period - a monumental task.

The Pulse shooter was transported separately from the scene. His remains are being held in a separate building at the ME facility. The shooter’s autopsy was also conducted in another building, away from the victims. This is not a law or requirement, but was rather done out of respect for the victims and their families so that the shooter may never be near the 49 beautiful souls again.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the medical professional community and to those who sent messages or tokens of support through these difficult days. While our team trains for such incidents, nothing could truly prepare anyone for this devastating loss. We are honored to have been entrusted to care for all of these individuals, yet saddened to now be among those communities affected by such profound tragedies."

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