Orlando shooting victim Kimberly “KJ” Morris was less than a week into her new job as a bouncer at Pulse nightclub, when she lost her life in the massacre, a close friend tells ET.
Steve Farina, a longtime friend of the 37-year-old Connecticut native, has paid tribute to his college buddy following the heartbreaking loss.
Farina last spoke to Morris, one of 49 club-goers who died at the hands of a gunman over the weekend, two weeks ago over text messages.
“She said she was just getting settled in Orlando – she moved there around a year ago. We were just reminiscing about old times and catching up,” Farina told ET.
Friends for 16 years, the pair first met at Post University , where they instantly hit it off. Together, they helped form the campus’ first LGBT organization.
“She always had this ability to make me more comfortable with myself,” said Farina. “She introduced me to the Broadway show Rent. For a talent show in school, we did ‘Light My Candle’. I was Roger and she was Mimi. Kim always wanted to get into entertainment.”
“She loved being out there,” he continued. “In college we were really into resident life. She was a resident advisor. She had the ability to get the best of people and make them comfortable.”
Those people skills helped Morris, a huge basketball fan, get into security work at clubs in Massachusetts, where she also worked as a drag king known as “Daddy K” at Northampton spot Diva’s.
After spending time in Hawaii, Morris moved to Florida to assist her mother and grandmother, and started working as a bouncer at Pulse just last week.
“She started last Monday,” said Farina. “She was never scared to do security. Kim loved everybody – she looked at her work like a greeter. Like, ‘Hey come on in!’ She was a friendly face at the door.”
Diva’s nightclub will hold a tribute event in honor of Morris on July 2nd.
See President Obama speak about the shooting below.