Connection Between Baltimore and the Orlando Nightclub Shootings

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Candlelight vigil held last night in Mt. Vernon. Photo by Ed Gunts.

Candlelight vigil in Baltimore tonight for victims of the nightclub shootings in Orlando

There’s a sad connection between Baltimore and the nightclub shootings in Orlando that left 50 dead and 53 wounded, making it the deadliest such shooting in U. S. history.

One of the founders of the nightclub, Pulse, is Ron Legler, who currently serves as president of the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center in Baltimore. He is also president of the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at Broadway Across America.

Legler started Pulse in 2004 with Barbara Poma, as a destination for the region’s LGBT community. They started it to celebrate Poma’s brother, John, who was gay and died of AIDS. Legler also headed the Florida Theatrical Association and was a local non-profit business leader. He moved to Baltimore in 2014 to run the Hippodrome.

“Praying for my Pulse Orlando Family and for the City of Orlando,” he wrote on Facebook yesterday. “I am devastated and heartbroken.”

He also updated his cover photo to read: “ Unity & Pride is the Pulse of Orlando.”

A candlelight vigil for the victims of the Orlando shooting will be held at 7 p.m. today at the YNot Lot, North Avenue and Charles Street, in the Station North Arts and Entertainment district.

The vigil is being organized by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland and other LGBT organizations in the city.

Candlelight vigils were held yesterday at Memorial Episcopal Church in Bolton Hill and at the base of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. The vigil in Mount Vernon last 90 minutes and drew more than 125 people.



Ed Gunts

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