Local LGBT club rethinks security after Orlando mass shooting

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Forty-nine people are dead in what’s being called the deadliest mass shooting in the United States’ history.

That mass shooting happened at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, on Sunday.

The FBI is continuing to look into the background of the shooter responsible for causing so much pain.

Another, 53 people were hurt in the early Sunday morning shooting.

Hospital officials at Orlando Regional Medical Center say they’re very optimistic that the victims at their hospital will recover.

Investigators say the shooter. 29-year-old, Omar Mateen was killed during a standoff with a SWAT team.

Back here in Capital City, people are now, more than ever, taking their safety into consideration when they’re heading out.

Jesse Pandolfo opened Wonderlust Club last fall.

She says the LGBT community is a family and was very upset after hearing the news of the massacre on Sunday.

Now, she’s considering security in her own club

Pandolfo says when she woke up Sunday morning; her phone was blowing up with calls and messages from people talking about the shootings in Orlando, Florida.

Wonderlust is a club on Northview Drive in Jackson that caters to LGBT customers.

“No weapons. No fighting. No excessive drunkenness,” said Pandolfo.

Those are the rules inside Wonderlust.

“We need to come together and keep our eyes open and just keep an eye out,” said Pandolfo.

That’s why Pandolfo hires armed security for the club.

“When we have bigger events or we know we’re going to have a busier night, we try to anticipate the crowd we’re going to have. You know in light of what happened, we may or may not change our security policy but that’s something I’ll have to talk with my staff about,” said Pandolfo.

And she has a good working relationship with the Jackson Police Department.

“There’s criteria that club owners have to meet for our officers to work there but it has nothing to do with sexual persuasion. It has more to do with our general orders and they prevent our officers from working at most bars,” said Lee Vance, the Police Chief of the Jackson Police Department.

JPD officers can work security at bars, but, they have to have a certain insurance policy and sign forms that protect officers and the city.

“We’ll continue to be as present and visible as we can throughout the City of Jackson fulfilling our duty to try our best to protect all of our citizens,” said Chief Vance.

But, Chief Vance says right now, there’s been no threats called into JPD and no calls from people feeling threatened.

“We find security to be our top priority and we will look out for people to best of our abilities, always,” said Pandolfo.

As far as federal authorities go, an FBI spokesperson in Mississippi says there doesn’t appear to be any credible threats to the state.

 

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