The windows of Milk District LGBTQ+ bar District Dive — part of the Southern Nights complex at Bumby Avenue and South Street — were shot out last night in what the owners are characterizing as a hate crime.
Video posted to District Dive's Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon shows the late-night shooting, which also targeted Southern Craft, as it happens. The shooting occurred after 3:30 a.m., so all the bars were closed, but several windows were shattered. The security-camera footage posted by District Dive staff appears to show a person walking slowly up to the windows at close range, with glass shattering shortly thereafter.
"Early Wednesday morning between the hours of 3:30a and 4:00a the Southern Nights Complex (District Dive, Southern Craft and Southern Nights) was a target of a hate crime," read the accompanying post. "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."
As District Dive is part of the largest LGBTQ nightlife complex in Orlando — anchored by longstanding nightclub Southern Nights — it's exceedingly difficult to draw any other conclusion other than deliberate hate crime.
"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," State Rep. Anna Eskamani posted on Twitter along with photos of the damage.
Despite the damage to the building, District Dive, Southern Craft and Southern Nights will be open for regular operating hours on Wednesday and through the rest of the week.
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
Both Eskamani and the staff of District Dive urge anyone with any information on the shooting to contact Orlando Police Department.
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