ORLANDO, Fla. – Pulse, the Orlando nightclub where 49 people were slain and 53 others were injured last month in a mass shooting, was broken into overnight, police said.
The break-in happened hours after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Orlando police turned the facility back over to its owners.
According to Orlando police, a prying tool was used to force plywood away from the metal door frame, and the intruders used the tool to force their way into the business.
The plywood used to secure another door was also pried loose, police said, but it was not completely removed from the doorway.
The business has an alarm system that includes interior cameras, but it was not activated when the business was secured on Thursday, an Orlando police report said.
The police report didn't state if anything was taken or if the club sustained any damage.
Kevin Greene, a friend of the Pomas, who own Pulse, was visibly angry.
“You can’t have that. I’ll make sure that no one gets into that building," said Greene, who was at the club as workers were repairing the lock on the front door.
Greene told News 6 reporter Mike Holfeld that the door was kicked in. Greene said he thinks someone in the media was behind it.
“Since June 12, we have seen the worst and best of human behavior," Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma said in a statement. "We are disappointed that someone felt compelled to violate the privacy of our beloved Pulse nightclub and the sacred place it has now become. We have faith in the Orlando Police Department and its investigation of this break-in. The club will continue to remain closed to the public as we work to plan the future of Pulse.”
Employees were at the club Thursday morning, and it appeared some were getting paychecks, while others were embracing co-workers and reflecting on the tragedy.
Those gathered to pay their respects at the site were stunned when told of the break-in.
“Why would they do it?" a women asked as News 6 broke the news to her. "Kicked the door in? What was in there that they wanted?"
Another young woman who asked not to be identified agreed.
"We’re all trying to come in like a community for all the people (who) died, and for someone to come in and just break in is just horrible," she said.
"Our community is still grieving. It's disturbing that someone would try to bring additional pain to the victims," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer tweeted.
We can confirm Pulse had a break in last night. Details will be in the report. Once it is finalized we will release. pic.twitter.com/fcLWDhsyB7— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) July 14, 2016
Meanwhile, the families of the victims slain at the Pulse nightclub will get the most money from a fund established to help the victims' families and survivors of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
A proposal on how to distribute the money was released Thursday by Kenneth Feinberg, the OneOrlando Fund's administrator.
The fund has at least $17 million. The exact amount each family will get is to be determined by how much is raised by Sept. 26.
The proposal creates four classes for distributing the funds: families of deceased victims, people hospitalized for more than one night, people injured but not needing overnight hospitalization and patrons who were not hurt.
Watch News 6 and stay with ClickOrlando.com for more on this story.