Small fire set at memorial to victims of nightclub shooting

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Some banners were burned at a temporary memorial honoring the 49 victims who died in a massacre at a Florida gay nightclub five years ago, and the foundation that runs it is seeking the public’s help in catching the vandal.

The onePulse Foundation over the weekend released security video on its Facebook page showing a man in a wheelchair setting fire to an outdoor wall on which banners, photos, messages and flowers are posted in memory of the victims who died at the Pulse nightclub.

The foundation asked the public to notify the police if they recognized the man in the video. The incident took place on Oct. 12, according to the foundation.

Gunman Omar Mateen killed the 49 victims at the nightclub during a three-hour standoff with law enforcement on June 12, 2016. He eventually was killed by SWAT team members. Mateen pledged fealty to the Islamic State group in talks with hostage negotiators and 911 operators during the standoff.

At the time, the Pulse massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. However, another mass shooting the next year along the Las Vegas Strip became the deadliest when 58 people were killed.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma has established a nonprofit with a goal of opening a permanent memorial and museum in the nightclub’s neighborhood.

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