TORRINGTON -- The tragedy in Orlando is hitting close to home as one of the 49 people killed in the mass shooting had ties to Connecticut and western Massachusetts.
Kimberly "KJ" Morris, 37, a native of Torrington had recently moved to Orlando and was working as a bouncer at Pulse, the gay nightclub where the shooting occurred.
Gov. Rick Scott said Morris had recently moved to Florida from Hawaii to take care of her mother.
Years ago, Morris played on the women's championship basketball team at Torrington High School. Her coach, Michael Fritch, says she was a better person than basketball player. "A great kid, fun to be around, loved to dance while we were warming up and stuff with all the other girls, never a bad thing to say about anyone," Fritch said.
Fritch's daughter, Erika Pratt, was also on the team. "Everyone has the right to live and be happy and be who they are, and I think Kim always did that," Pratt said. "She was always who she was, she was always Kim, and she was always a happy person."
Morris attended Post University in Waterbury where she played basketball. The school released the following statement:
The Post University community is deeply saddened by the death of 2001 graduate Kimberly “KJ” Morris. Kimberly was among the shooting victims on June 12, 2016, at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree as a resident student of the University’s Waterbury campus and is remembered as an active, vibrant student-athlete and leader within the Post family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kimberly’s family and friends, and the many Post alumni who have contacted us to share their memories of this wonderful young woman.
She's being remembered by Diva's nightclub in Northampton Massachusetts, where she was a performer. "We will always remember her smile and her amazing way she lite up the stage in her performances . Keep dancing KJ ... And we'll keep smiling remembering you!!"