Two neighboring LGBTQ+ bars were attacked last week in what police are investigating as a hate crime in Orlando – the city where the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting took place.
The bars, District Dive and Southern Craft, had their windows destroyed in the middle of the night. Security footage captured a hooded person walking near the windows before they shattered. No patrons or employees were present, as the bars were closed.
“Early Wednesday morning between the hours of 3:30 am and 4:00 am, the Southern Nights Complex (District Dive, Southern Craft, and Southern Nights) was a target of a suspected hate crime,” wrote District Dive in a Facebook post, along with the security footage.
“Orlando Police Department is investing the crime and we are prioritizing the safety of our community. If anyone has any information please contact OPD immediately. We will still be working under normal operating hours today and through the weekend. Please stay safe Orlando.”
Followers voiced messages of support, including Florida state representative Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D), who commented, “Awful and unacceptable — we will do everything we can to find out who did this and remain committed to LGBTQ+ equality and safety for all.”
Eskamani also tweeted about the incident.
My heart is so heavy– early Wednesday morning between the hours of 3:30am and 4:00am the Southern Nights Complex (District Dive, Southern Craft and Southern Nights) was a target of a hate crime. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/rHPV6qwlAG— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) January 18, 2023
According to Orlando Weekly, District Dive and Southern Craft are part of the most prominent LGBTQ+ nightlife complex in the city.
Police say the suspect used “an unknown item” to break the windows “from a short distance away” and ask anyone with information to contact them.