Orlando shooting victim's death takes a toll on Puerto Rico town

GUANICA, Puerto Rico -- Over 1,000 miles from the deadly terror attack in Orlando, Florida, on the island of Puerto Rico, Lucibel Padro cries out for her son.

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"God help me, please don't leave me alone," she screamed.

Her son, Angel Candelario Padro, was killed in the attack on Orlando's Pulse nightclub. Nearly half of the victims, including Angel, were Puerto Rican, stretching the tragedy all the way across the Caribbean to the small southern coastal towns of Ponce and Guanica.

"This tragic event affects every people in Ponce because there were Ponceños over there," Ponce Mayor Maria Melendez said.

Melendez organized with both the city and regional JetBlue offices to have Padro's body and those of two others who were from her area to be brought back to the island so family and friends in their hometowns could say their final goodbyes.

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"Some of them don't have the social money or social status to cover the burial services with their relative who died over there, so one of the things is that we take care of the people," Melendez said.

Angel's aunt, Leticia Padro, flew straight to Orlando when her family hadn't heard from him after the attack early Sunday.

"He's fine or he's in the hospital," Leticia Padro told her family. "I'm going to go find him, and I will return to Puerto Rico with him."

After finding out that Angel had been killed, they began the process of bringing him home.

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"A lot of people love him because he was a very friendly person, very joyful person," said Ismael Medina, Angel's uncle. "He was so good with everybody that everybody love him."

Medina flew to Orlando with Leticia Padro, his wife, to host a wake for their nephew and then to bring his body back to his hometown of Guanica, where the body was viewed one last time at the home of Angel's grandparents.

"He just arrived to Orlando in February, and when we got to the funeral home (in Orlando) we had more than 2,000 people in there," Medina said. "When I saw that, I said 'Wow, a lot of people love him.'"

"His goal was not to stay here," said Michelle Candelario Padro, Angel's sister-in-law. "It was to keep going over there, taking steps to grow as a person. He could do anything."

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Angel was in the Puerto Rican National Guard, became a nurse in Puerto Rico and even taught dance. All these things were talked about as hundreds flowed into his grandparents' small home in Guanica.

Then, as everyone stood mourning, sounds from horns and drums could be heard reverberating up the antiquated roadways. Angel's old marching band that he played with in high school trumpeted their way through the streets and to his wake - a last performance for their "angel," they said.