Katy Perry Surprises Pulse Massacre Survivor on ‘Ellen,’ Cries Uncontrollably
An Ellen Degeneres Show segment from today's (September 8) episode was designed for Katy Perry to surprise a fan who had survived June's Pulse Nightclub Massacre. But by the meeting's end — and after many tears — it was she who appeared most moved by the other's company.
Tony Marrero, a 30-year-old Wizarding World of Harry Potter employee, recalled his memory of the night to Degeneres, and said it all began when he got a call from his friend Luis. Luis was straight, but wanted to check out the gay club's Latin night, and Marrero said the pair of best friends finally decided to stop by. They had a great time, and when the bartender alerted patrons to last call, Marrero and Luis — neither of whom drank — got up to leave.
That's when gunfire rang out. Marrero was shot four times in the back and once in the arm, but said he remembered an instinct to protect his head under a couch. Then, when the gunman advanced beyond him, he managed to crawl to the door and get help from police. He was technically dead for a time en route to the hospital.
Luis and 48 others were killed.
Marrero credited Perry's "Rise" with helping him get through his hospital stay, and jokingly said he played it to the point of his boyfriend's annoyance.
"Have you met Katy yet?" Degeneres asked. "You wanna meet Katy?"
Perry came out, and cued tears that could collectively sink Venice. She, Marrero and everyone nearby cried their eyes out.
"I just want to say thank you for everything you do," Marrero said. "Your lyrics to ["Rise"] helped me from the day I was in the hospital all the way until now. You're amazing."
"We're both electrified by each other and so inspired," Perry responded, and joked that she had folded up a napkin in her sleeve like "a little granny" in anticipation of the meeting. "We're both lights."
"Life isn't easy and you need little reliefs, through songs, quite possibly," she added. "I'm happy to be a joy, I'm happy to be a light and I'm happy I could be there in my own little way to help you."
Perry also volunteered to pay for Marrero's first year at film school. Creative people have to help each other chase after their dreams, she said.
Follow Katy's lead, grab some tissues and watch the Ellen video above.
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