Pulse owner to create permanent memorial at site of nightclub tragedy

Barbara Poma to hold news conference next week

ORLANDO, Fla. – The owner of Pulse nightclub, the site of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, will announce plans next week for establishing a permanent memorial "in honor and remembrance of the tragic events."

Barbara Poma said Tuesday that she will hold a news conference May 4 and will "share details about the vision and process for creating a memorial on the site where club has stood for 12 years."

In the months after the massacre, the city of Orlando proposed buying the club for $2.25 million so it could be turned into a memorial, but Poma ultimately turned down that offer.

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens more were injured June 12 when Omar Mateen opened fire inside the gay nightclub. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police after a three-hour standoff.

“Pulse has always been a part of me, but after this tragedy (that) took 49 lives, it became a part of this community and the world,’’ Poma said in a statement. “When this event happened, I had no clue how expansive the love for Pulse was. It’s important that we as a community be mindful and take great care to preserve, honor and help heal.”

Poma said she established the nightclub in 2004 in honor of her brother, John, who passed away from HIV/AIDS.

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Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.