ORLANDO, Fla. - Family members and friends held a candlelight vigil Saturday night, for the woman killed during a shooting spree in Orange County.
Investigators said Michelet Polynice shot and killed his estranged girlfriend, Carlene Pierre, and one of her friends at a Quality Suites hotel off International Drive Thursday.
He then shot another one of Pierre’s friends at the Westgate Lakes Resort, before killing himself.
That woman, Vanessa Gonzalez-Orellanes, is still recovering.
Saturday night, Pierre’s three children sat near their grandmother, who’s their guardian now.
Pierre’s childhood friend, Naymill Romo, said she’s still in disbelief over the loss.
“It seems unreal,” Romo said, “I don’t think this is real right now.”
Romo knew Pierre since they were teenagers and told WFTV her friend rarely spoke about the dark side of Polynice.
“She didn’t talk to me too much about it,” she said, “I guess she didn’t want me to know.”
Pierre’s sister says she was following the Haitian culture by not talking about the abuse.
“They always say in the Haitian community what happens behind closed doors, is no one’s business,” explained Judith Delchere. “Please, stand up. Don’t let what happened to Carlene happen to you guys.”
Several grief counseling agencies have stepped forward to help the family. They’re also hoping the community will donate to a trust fund, to help Pierre’s grandmother raise the three children.