Colorado Springs shooting: At least 5 dead in LGBTQ nightclub attack


A 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just before midnight Saturday and immediately opened fire, killing at least five people and injuring 18 others, before he was stopped by patrons and disarm him, police said Sunday.

The suspect in the Club Q shooting was identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. He used a long rifle in the shooting and two firearms were found at the scene, he said.

At least two people inside the club confronted and fought with the gunman and prevented further violence, Vasquez said. “We owe them a great debt of gratitude,” he said.

The incident lasted only a few minutes. Police received numerous 911 calls beginning at 11:56 p.m., officers were dispatched at 11:57 p.m., an officer arrived at midnight and the suspect was taken into custody at 12:02 a.m., police said. A total of 39 patrolmen responded in all, police said.

Of the 18 people injured, several are in critical condition with gunshot wounds, though the exact number is unclear, authorities said.

The suspect is being treated at a hospital, police added. The officers did not shoot him, police said.

Police declined to discuss a possible motive in this latest shooting, though authorities noted Club Q’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.

“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens,” Vasquez said. “Every citizen has the right to feel safe and protected in our city, to tour our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or mistreated.”

The location of the shooting is reminiscent of the 2016 attack at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which a Gunman who swore allegiance to Islamic State killed 49 people and injured at least 53. Colorado has been the site of some of the most heinous mass shootings in US history. 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2012 movie shooting in Aurora.

in a statement Taking to social media, Club Q said it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community” and thanked “the quick reactions of the heroic patrons who subdued the gunman and ended this hateful attack.”

Club Q posted earlier in the day that its Saturday night lineup would include a punk and alternative show at 9 p.m. . The club’s website now says it will be closed until further notice.

Colorado Springs Fire Capt. Mike Smaldino said 11 ambulances responded to the scene after receiving multiple 911 calls.

“We will be here for many, many hours to come,” Castro said, adding that the FBI is on the scene and helping.

At least five patients are being treated at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, the hospital’s vice president of communications Dan Weaver said.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the nation’s leader first openly gay governorissued a statement calling the attack “horrific, disgusting and devastating” and offered state resources to local law enforcement.

“We are forever grateful for the brave people who blocked the gunman who likely saved lives in the process and for the first responders who quickly responded to this horrific shooting,” he said. “Colorado stands with our LGBTQ community and all those affected by this tragedy as we mourn together.”

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