Shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, a gunman opened fire at an Orlando-area nightclub in Florida, killing a confirmed 50 people and injuring more than 50 people. Pulse, the nightclub where the Orlando shooting took placewas clearly a staple nighttime destination in the Orlando area, but its importance stretched far beyond that. According to a USA TODAYreport, one of the owners of Pulse started the club in an effort to promote awareness about the area's gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual communities after her brother died from AIDS. Barbara Poma first opened Pulse with friend and co-founder Ron Leger in 2014, USA TODAY reports. They're known for hosting themed performances and a monthly program of LGBT-related educational events. The night of the deadly attack was Latin night.
(Update: The FBI has updated the death toll to 49 victims. The shooter was also killed.)
According to its About page on its Facebook, Pulse was "Orlando's Premier Gay Nightclub and Ultra Lounge/Bar," and reviews for the nightclub tout it as the "best gay bar" in the Orlando area. After Poma's brother John came out as gay to his friends and family, Pulse became a space to help foster community, love, and support. Of Pulse's creation, a quote on their website read,
It was important to create an atmosphere that embraced the gay lifestyle with décor that would make John proud. Most importantly, (we) coined the name Pulse for John’s heartbeat — as a club that is John’s inspiration, where he is kept alive in the eyes of his friends and family.