[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
This is horrific news…
A gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday night, killing at least five people and injuring 18 others. During a press conference on Sunday, the Colorado Springs Police Department Chief, Adrian Vasquez, said the suspect – who has since been identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich – began shooting immediately with a long rifle when he entered Club Q. Two other guns were also found at the scene. He added that two “heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect,” and they were able to subdue him before any more violence happened.
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According to Colorado Springs Police Lt. Pamela Castro, law enforcement received several 911 calls starting at around 11:56 p.m. and responded to the scene at Club Q. She said the first officer arrived at midnight, and a suspect was arrested at 12:02 a.m. Before the news conference, Castro shared that the gunman was also injured and being treated at a hospital.
Randy Royal, chief of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, said several ambulances from multiple agencies responded to the scene and immediately were able to triage the victims after the gunman was subdued. At this time, officials said several victims are in critical condition with gunshot wounds – but the exact number is unknown. Vasquez noted that police are investigating the motive for the attack. He then said:
“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens. Every citizen has a right to feel safe and secure in our city, to go about our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or treated poorly.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers added:
“We are a strong community that has shown resilience in the face of hate and violence in the past and we will do so again. As a community, we will provide for the victims and witnesses of this horrific event, and law enforcement will pursue this case with the zealousness that it deserves.”
District Attorney Michael Allen said the shooting “appears to be carried out by one person,” adding:
“If additional suspects are identified and arrested we will share that information with the public at the appropriate time.”
Following the shooting, Club Q said on Facebook it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community.”
“Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected governor, called the mass shooting “horrific, sickening, and devastating” in a statement on social media Sunday morning:
“My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. … We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) November 20, 2022
Just heartbreaking beyond words. Our thoughts are with everyone involved in this terrible incident at this time.
To learn more about how you can help the LGBTQ+ community, check out https://www.glaad.org/.
[Image via 9News/YouTube]