Barbara Poma, the owner of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, spoke to the Today Show‘s Matt Lauer in her first interview since Sunday’s deadly shooting.
She told Matt how she opened the club 13 years ago to celebrate the life of her late brother John, who had died from HIV/AIDS complications, and that she always thought of the club as a “safe and fun place to come be who you are. Simple as that.”
All of that changed Sunday night, though, when her she received “most surreal phone call” from the manager of the club informed her they were dealing with an active shooter on the premises. “It was overwhelming.”
When Lauer asked how her mission would change, from honoring one person to now honoring 49, she said she would always have a mission. “We just welcome those families into our families, and we just have to move forward and find a way to keep our hearts beating and keep our spirit alive; and we’re not going to let somebody take this away from us.”
Poma focused on the 49 lives that were lost, but she wouldn’t talk about the shooter: “It’s important to never let hate win,” she said. (via Towleroad)
Watch the interview below.
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