(NationalUSNews.com) — On June 12, 2016, there was a mass shooting at the popular Pulse nightclub that catered to the LGBTQ2+ community in Orlando, Florida. The night ended with the tragic loss of 49 people and more than 50 injured. Now, the city of Orlando is proposing to purchase the property and turn it into a public memorial. Mayor Buddy Dyer says that if the $2 million offer is accepted, the sale may be closed as early as the end of the month.
On that night in June, 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub and opened fire on the people enjoying the club’s weekly Saturday night “Latin Night”. Over 300 people were in the club that night. Around 100 officers from the Orlando Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the nightclub. Matten was shot and killed after a 3-hour standoff with law enforcement.
The plans to transform the Pulse nightclub into a memorial have been in the works since 2016. The owners of the property have been involved in the community for some time. Michael Panaggio is a businessman who owns the property along with Barbara and Rosario Poma. Barbara Poma was involved in the plan to turn the property into a memorial through her work as the executive director of the onePULSE Foundation, a non-profit group that has been leading the movement. Barbara has since stepped down from her position at onePULSE. The organization has since stated that they are intending to scale down from their original plans for a large memorial due to fundraising challenges.
Mayor Dyer has said that the city is hoping to create a collaborative memorial, which would include consulting with and working alongside the families of the victims. He says the city simply purchasing the property and starting the work necessary to establish the memorial would solve a lot of the challenges the project has suffered from. He believes this is the best way to expedite the creation of a long-wished-for appropriate memorial that could bring the community together in “love, acceptance, and partnership”.
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