Video footage released on Saturday shows a man setting fire to a temporary memorial for the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.
The video, captured on October 12 and published on Facebook by the onePULSE foundation, shows a man in a wheelchair approaching one of the exterior walls of the memorial.
The man appears to set a banner on the wall on fire with a lighter, and as the fire escalates, he leaves the scene. The fire burns for several minutes, appearing contained within a section of the wall. At the end of the video, which lasts approximately 18 minutes, the fire has gone out and someone approaches the memorial to extinguish a remaining flame.
In its Facebook post, the onePULSE foundation wrote that on “October 12 at around 8:30 p.m. EST, an individual damaged our wall of offerings.”
âThree Angel banners were burned along with other items in the affected area,â the organization wrote, urging those who may know the man in the video to contact the Orlando Police Department.
News week contacted the ministry for comments and updates on its investigation, but did not receive a response until the publication on Sunday evening.
Forty-nine people were killed and many more were injured in the 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub, on June 12, 2016.
In its Facebook post, the onePULSE foundation describes the display that was vandalized last month as a “temporary memorial.”
The organization says on its website that it “was created to create a sanctuary of hope after the tragic day in American history – Sunday, June 12, 2016 – to honor the 49 angels who were abducted, the 68 others who were injured and the countless first responders and medical professionals who treated them.
“This fund is intended to support a memorial that opens hearts, a museum that opens minds, educational programs that open eyes and heritage scholarships that open doors,” writes the organization.
Last month’s incident is not the first time that a memorial to the tragic mass shooting has been vandalized.
In May 2020, a mural commemorating the Pulse shooting was degraded when a Pulse nightclub logo in the middle of the screen was covered with a Patriot Front sticker. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Patriot Frong a “white nationalist hate group.”
The memorial mural was located on an exterior wall of the Center, an Orlando LGBTQ rights organization.