Barbara Poma (pictured), the owner of Pulse in Orlando, Florida, has backed out of a deal with the city.
The club was the location of a horrific mass shooting in June, in which 49 people were killed and several more wounded by a lone gunman. Orlando offered to purchase the location for $2.25 million in order to turn it into a memorial.
Poma initially accepted the offer, but announced yesterday she was backing out. She said it was a difficult decision, but she wanted to have more control over the future of the space.
"This decision truly came just from my heart and my passion for Pulse, and everything it’s meant to me and my family for the last 12 years since its inception,” she said. “So I think the struggle was you know, letting it go, and it’s just something I could not come to grips with.”
At this point in time, Poma has yet to decide what will happen to the location. She admitted she has not even decided if the existing building will stay in place. She promised a permanent memorial was still being planned, though.
Terry DeCarlo, the executive director of the GLBT Center of Central Florida, advised Poma to “go with what’s in your heart.”
“Barbara opened this club in memory of her brother,” he said. “It holds such memories for her.”
“What you’re seeing here is truly coming from her heart and her personally on how she feels she needs to do what she has to do,” he added. “... I would not wish what this woman is going through on any person in the world.”