‘It’s heartbreaking’: Pulse survivor says fire set to memorial should be investigated as hate crime

ORLANDO, Fla. — You can no longer see the faces of Brandon Wolf’s best friends on a banner outside Pulse, the nightclub where he saw them for the last time.

“This is a space where, late at night when no one else is here, I come when I want to feel close to them again,” Wolf said. “And the idea that someone could desecrate a space like that, do something so violent, and so hateful, it’s really heartbreaking to me.”


The onePulse Foundation said security guards are at Pulse regularly on a rotating basis, but they just happened not to be there the night the fire was started.

The team has done a lot to make it look nice again, but if you look close you can still see the charred damage.

Surveillance video shows a man in a wheelchair rolling up to the banners and setting them on fire around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 12.

WATCH: Man caught on camera setting fire to Pulse memorial wall

“We certainly won’t be defined by one angry person, one angry coward’s decision to set something on fire,” Wolf said, adding it should be investigated as a hate crime.

“You’ve got to ask the question whether it was motivated simply because of who we are,” Wolf said. “And of course, that changes the kind of repercussions and consequences that someone faces for the things that they do.”

Three Angel banners were burned along with other items within the affected area, according to the foundation.

READ: Here’s when the onePULSE Foundation scholarship window opens

Anyone with information on the suspect in the video is asked to call the Orlando Police Department information line at 407-246-2470 and reference case number 2021-003-693-96.

READ: ‘Time people know the truth’: Widow of Pulse nightclub gunman maintains innocence in new interview

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.