Man who went to Arizona high school killed in attack on Orlando gay bar

Jun 13, 2016, 2:00 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2016, 10:07 pm
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, who went to high school in Arizona, was killed in the Orlando attack. (Fac...
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, who went to high school in Arizona, was killed in the Orlando attack. (Facebook Photo)
(Facebook Photo)
LISTEN: Friend of man killed in Orlando attack who attended Arizona high school

PHOENIX — One of the victims in the terrorist attack on an Orlando gay bar graduated from an Arizona high school.

Jason Benjamin Josaphat was 19. He graduated from Skyline High School in Mesa in 2014.

“[Josaphat] was a valued member of Skyline’s Spiritline,” his coach, Cathy Underwood, said in a statement. “He lit up the gym when he walked through the door. Even in the most intense cheer moments, he had a way of making everyone laugh. His smile shone through and he always looked out for everyone else.”

Sabrina Chambers, who attended Skyline with Josaphat, said he was someone who laughed every single day.

“Every single morning, we would talk, we would laugh, we would make fun of each other and we would make up silly little rap songs,” she said. “It was nothing but love.”

There will be a candle-lighting ceremony at the school, located near Crismon and Broadway roads, on Wednesday night to memorialize Josaphat and the other victims.

Josaphat was killed when a gunman opened fire on Pulse nightclub, a popular bar for gay people in Orlando, early Sunday morning. Fifty people died while 53 more were injured.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Josaphat’s Facebook page said he was attending Southern Technical Institute, about a two-hour drive from the club.

The shooter, 29-year-old New York City-born Omar Mateen, was killed in a shootout with police following the attack.

Mateen purchased the guns used in the shooting legally, despite being on the federal government’s radar as a potential terrorist.

The FBI investigated Mateen in 2013 after he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible ties to terrorists. The following year, the agency looked into potential ties connecting Mateen to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, the first American to carry out a suicide attack in Syria.

He was cleared after both investigations.

A law enforcement official has said Omar Mateen called 911 from the nightclub and expressed allegiance to an Islamic State leader.

KTAR’s Corbin Carson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Here’s a map of Fourth of July events taking place across metro Phoenix

Fourth of July is one of the staples of summer and there are plenty of events occurring around the metro Phoenix area where you can celebrate America's birthday.
5 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon NPS)...

Grand Canyon National Park tourism generated $710 million for local economy in 2021

Tourism in Grand Canyon National Park brought in $710 million for the local economy in 2021, according to a report released Monday.
5 hours ago
(University of Arizona Photo/Chris Richards)...
Kevin Stone

UArizona offers free tuition for Native American undergraduate students

The University of Arizona is making undergraduate education free for Native American students at the Tucson campus.
5 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...

AAA Arizona expects Fourth of July travel to return to near pre-pandemic levels

AAA Arizona expects travel over the Fourth of July holiday to return to near pre-pandemic levels this year, despite high prices at the pump.
5 hours ago
The Threshold initiative was launched June 1, 2022, at a news conference at the Arizona Multihousin...
Julio Ernesto Mora Rodriguez I Cronkite News

Landlords asked to help solve homelessness through new Maricopa County initiative

The number of people experiencing homelessness is rising in Maricopa County, and with it the need for affordable housing. Enter Threshold, which intends to change the housing dynamic by inviting landlords to be part of the solution.
5 hours ago
(City of Tempe Photo)...

Arizona cities exchange fireworks for other showy July Fourth displays

A few Arizona cities plan to light up the night sky without fireworks to celebrate Independence Day this year. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Man who went to Arizona high school killed in attack on Orlando gay bar