Pulse survivor helps locate the suspect accused of setting fire to Pulse memorial

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on email

The Orlando Fire Department Arson and Bomb Squad has arrested a suspect in the vandalization of the Pulse National Memorial in Orlando, Florida, last month.

64-year old Mark Anthony Henson is the man authorities believe was seen on camera setting fire to the memorial, which recognizes the lives lost following a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub on June 12, 2016. Henson has been charged with felony criminal mischief.

Henson faces up to five years in prison for a third-degree felony charge, based on state penalty guidelines.

Orlando Torres, a Pulse survivor, helped identify Henson, he and onePULSE told local NBC affiliate WESH.

“I had already posted that I was heading out there to do a search,” Torres said, “so I got leads from friends. And they said they’d seen him.”

Based on the tips, Torres found the man and took surveillance footage of him to compare to the footage taken at the Memorial. The evidence then led to Henson’s arrest.

“I feel relieved. I am glad to bring the community to be relieved because there was an uproar… a lot of people were very disappointed hurt,” he said.

“[The] onePULSE Foundation is grateful to the Orlando Fire Department’s Arson and Bomb Squad for today’s arrest. As always, we are so appreciative of all of the first responders who work to keep our community safe,” the foundation dedicated to maintaining the memorial said.

The damage amounted to more than $1000 in value, Orlando Fire Department spokesperson Ashley Papagni told the New York Times, making the vandalization a felony criminal act.

Brandon Wolf, another Pulse survivor and LGBTQ activist, denounced the vandalization and thanked those that helped charge Henson.

“I’m grateful to the community members and organizations who were able to find the man responsible for this act of vandalism and have once again embodied this city’s spirit of support and unity,” he told the Times.

Join our
Mailing List

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )