Vigil held in Grand Rapids for Pulse nightclub shooting victims

Posted at 10:29 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 22:31:01-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A vigil was held in downtown Grand Rapids for the 49 people who were gunned down in a gay nightclub in Orlando last year.

The Pulse Nightclub shooting happened a year ago today, and was the deadliest mass shooting to happen on American soil in modern history. In addition to the 49 who were killed, dozens more were injured. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police.

The Apartment Lounge is a bar that serves the gay community of Grand Rapids. They shut down for an hour Monday evening to remember the victims and survivors of the shooting.

Bob Johnson is the owner of the Apartment Lounge, and says he wanted to hold this special vigil so they can remember those who died and lean on each other for support.

"This was something that shocked us all to the core, it was something we never would have thought would happen," Johnson said. "So it was such a shock to all of us that we had to start thinking outside the box and making sure that we were thinking about each other, protecting each other."

A special reading of all those killed last year was held as the gathering held their lit candles.

"This is all about bringing us together. remembering what's happened and looking to the future. And remembering that fear doesn't have a place in our world," Johnson said.

The Pulse nightclub itself has since been surrounded by various tributes, and will now be turned into a permanent memorial.