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Lawmakers Aim for Pulse to be Designated National Memorial

by Mike Scheider .
Tuesday Jun 11, 2019
An Orlando Police officer directs family members away from a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
An Orlando Police officer directs family members away from a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.  (Source:AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Members of central Florida's congressional delegation are introducing legislation that would designate as a national memorial the gay nightclub where 49 people were massacred three years ago by a supporter of the Islamic State.

U.S. Reps. Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy said Monday at a ceremony outside the former nightclub that the designation will preserve and protect Pulse nightclub for future generations and give it the federal recognition it deserves.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma has established a nonprofit to open a memorial and museum at the site.

Monday's ceremony was interrupted briefly by the mother of Christopher "Drew" Leinonen, who was killed at the nightclub. Christine Leinonen began shouting at Poma when she came to the speaker's podium.

Afterward, Leinonen says she blames Poma for inadequate security at the nightclub.

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