Mayor of Orlando says city plans to buy Pulse club to create permanent memorial

Hillary Clinton at Orlando Pulse nightclub after the massacre which killed 49

The Mayor of Orlando says that the city may take ownership of the Pulse nightclub to ensure a permanent memorial on the site.

49 people died and more than 50 were injured in the Orlando massacre in June, when a gunman opened fire during a Latin night at the Florida gay club. The majority of the victims were LGBT people of colour.

The owners of Pulse had initially signalled that they planned to re-open, holding a street party in the wake of the massacre and promising to carry on.

Plans filed last month by the club owners’ non-profit onePULSE Foundation suggested a memorial may be built on the site that may sit alongside a re-opened club.

But the city’s Mayor Buddy Dyer has now suggested that the club should be taken into public ownership by the city in order to convert the entire site into a permanent memorial.

He told local radio station WMFE: “At some point I think the city needs to gain control [or] purchase the Pulse site and then make some determination, with a lot of input, on what a permanent memorial might look like.

“One thing I’ve been thinkng about is I think we need to determine some period of time that we leave it exactly as is with some adequate fencing… because there will be people that want to travel here to see it as it exists, without modification to it.

“There’s some time frame where we need to keep it intact as is, and then transition to whatever a permanent memorial may be.”

He added: “People are traveling from all over the country, really all over the world… I’ve been, quite honestly, a little surprised at the volume of visitors that we have had.

“Maybe we’ll make that judgement [on the conversion] if the volume slows down, but I think there are a lot of people that want to pay tribute.”