PULSE MEMORIAL SET ON FIRE BY UNIDENTIFIED VANDAL

On the evening of October 12, a man in a wheelchair was caught on camera vandalizing the Pulse Memorial in Orlando, Fla. by setting it on fire and then fleeing the scene. Now the onePULSE Foundation has released the approximately 18-minute surveillance video in hopes that someone who sees it can assist the police in identifying the vandal. 

Using what appears to be a lighter, the suspect sets fires to the murals hanging on the memorial’s outside wall, leaving as the blaze grows larger. After several minutes of burning, another person approaches the memorial to help stamp out the remaining flames.

“Three Angel banners were burned along with other items within the affected area,” the foundation wrote in a Facebook post, urging those who know the man to contact the Orlando Police Department. 

The murals memorialized the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in which Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old man, entered the club, barricaded the door, and opened fire. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 more. The shooting went on for three hours, ending when SWAT teams breached the building and shot Mateen, bringing the death toll to 50 and marking the deadliest mass shooting in US history. 

Sadly, this is not the first time the memorial has been defaced. In May 2020 the logo for the Pulse nightclub, which is featured in the middle of the display, was covered over by a sticker from a group called Patriot Front, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a “white nationalist hate group.”

Anyone with information about the man seen in the video should contact the Orlando Police Department at 407-246-2470 and reference case number 2021-003-693-96.

SOURCE: ADVOCATE

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