Rainbow memorial completed by Pulse nightclub in memory of 49 killed
A rainbow crossing has been completed connecting two streets next to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
It comes after thousands of people signed a petition calling for a rainbow memorial to remember the victims of the shooting.
The gay nightclub was the scene of horrific events in June 2016, when 49 people were murdered and 53 people injured in what was the worst shooting in US history at the time.
The victims were disproportionately LGBT and of Latino or Hispanic heritage.
The memorial crossing opened to the public Wednesday and has been visited by hundreds of locals already.
— City of Orlando (@citybeautiful) October 11, 2017
The venue has remained closed since the attack, with discussions about the future of the site.
After the clean-up of the scene concluded, a question mark remained over whether the club would re-open or be converted into a more permanent memorial to the victims.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer had led a campaign for the City of Orlando to take ownership of the site, making a formal bid to buy the club from its private owners.
However, the deal fell through this week, when owner Barbara Poma backed out of the $2.25 million deal to sell the club to the city.
Ms Poma, who originally opened the club in memory of her late brother, said she was unable to part with the property.
She told local press that she does not know yet whether she will keep the existing club building standing, but has pledged to create a “permanent memorial at the existing site of Pulse Nightclub.
She said: “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.
“So I think the struggle was you know, letting it go, and it’s just something I could not come to grips with.”