Orlando mayor reveals plans to buy Pulse nightclub and build memorial

The nightclub was the site of the worst mass shooting and hate crime in the history of the United States

Orlando, Florida, nightclub, Pulse,

Image: John Raoux / AP/Press Association Images

Orlando officials have revealed their intentions to purchase the city’s Pulse nightclub, the site of the most deadly mass shooting in the US, in order to turn the venue into a memorial to the victims who died there.

Led by the city mayor, officials announced that they negotiated a price of $2.4m (€2.2m) to buy the site of the gay nightclub, where a gunman opened fire and killed 49 men and women during a Latin night.

“This location is now a permanent part of Orlando’s history,” said mayor Buddy Dyer. “It’s the site of the most tragic event that has ever occurred in the City of Orlando. We want our entire community to be a part of this site.”

On June 12th, Omar Sateen, identifying himself as a religious extremist supporting the so-called Islamic State, entered the club armed with automatic weapons. He was also killed on the site, shot eight times by SWAT officers attempting to regain control of Pulse and free hostages.

In the wake of June’s attack, Pulse was visited by President Obama, Vice President Biden, as well as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her pick for Vice President, Tim Kaine. In the weeks and months since, Pulse has become a place of vigil for the citizens of Orlando, who come to pay their respects to those killed, despite the venue still being surrounded by a security fence.

The city council will vote next Monday on whether to go ahead with the acquisition, two days after Orlando celebrates its annual pride festivities.

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