Police say patrons stopped a gunman at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
A 22-year-old shooter entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs around midnight Saturday and opened fire, killing at least five people and wounded 25 others, authorities said Sunday. Now known as the Colorado Springs Shooting.
Police Chief Adrian Vasquez identified the suspect as Anderson Lee Aldrich. Two guns were recovered at the site, according to Vasquez.
At least two clubgoers approached and battled the shooter, Vasquez added. “Thank you,” he said.
Police are investigating whether the incident was a hate crime, citing Club Q’s LGBTQ ties.
Vasquez said Club Q is a safe sanctuary for LGBTQ people. Every resident has the right to feel safe and secure in our community, without fear of injury or mistreatment.
Club Q claimed it was “devastated by the terrible assault on our community” and hailed “heroic customers” for stopping the hate attack.
A punk and alternative event at 9 p.m. will be followed by a dance party at 11. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the club scheduled a drag brunch and entertainment. The club’s website indicates it’s closed indefinitely.
The incident occurred on Transgender Day of Remembrance and recalls the 2016 assault on an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which a shooter swore allegiance to the Islamic State and murdered 49 and injured 53.
Colorado has seen some of the most terrible mass shootings in US history, including Columbine High School and Aurora. Three people were killed at a Planned Parenthood in November 2015 and six at a birthday celebration last year.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 mass shootings in the U.S. this year.
Colorado Springs Shooting sequence
KOAA’s Joshua Thurman While dancing, he heard gunshots and saw a muzzle flare.
He danced because he assumed the music was playing. “When I heard more bullets, a client and I hurried to the dressing room, shut the doors, and contacted the police.”
Thurman heard gunshots, weeping, and damaged glass. He witnessed corpses, shattered glass, and blood as he emerged.
Minutes of bloodshed. At 11:56 p.m., police got several 911 calls, officers were summoned, an officer arrived at midnight, and the subject was apprehended at 12:02 a.m. 39 patrol officers and 11 ambulances responded, authorities said.
The number of wounded was originally 18 but then raised to 25. Mayor John Suthers said 19 of the 25 wounded suffered gunshot wounds. Suthers expects the wounded individuals to live and the community is “crossing its fingers” for no more deaths.
Police: The suspect is hospitalised. Police said no officers shot at him.
Sheldon told KRDO. He dropped off a buddy 10 minutes before the shooting.
Since I turned 18, I’ve frequented this pub. Many of the bar patrons are friends, relatives, and intimate acquaintances, he claimed.
“Whether it’s a hate crime or not, it’s terrible to see that this is happening in my neighbourhood, that this occurred in a place I’ve gone and felt comfortable, that if I stayed 10 more minutes, I would have been in the centre of it.”
Club Q was LGBTQ-safe
Colorado Springs, the state’s second-most populated city, is home to many military facilities and Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian nonprofit that opposes homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
Club Q was the city’s lone LGBTQ club until recently.
5280 magazine said last year that Club Q has been a stronghold of the LGBTQ community. It supports the LGBTQ community via event sponsorships, pride celebrations, and charity campaigns. While the club has lately switched to “dinner and a show” atmosphere before 10, it’s still recognised as the location for gay young people to dance.
Nic Grzecka revealed why he and his partner launched Club Q to Colorado Springs Indy in July 2020.
“The goal of Club Q is to create a safe area in the city,” Grzecka stated.
Grzecka and his business partner travelled other successful LGBTQ locations and saw a common trend. Go-go dancers, drag queens, and jockstrap bartenders. We had to be homosexual to survive.”
The facility conducts all-ages events including breakfast and Thanksgiving.
Tiana Nicole Dykes calls Club Q “a second home full of chosen relatives.”
“Every other week, if not every week. I love this place. People, energy, message. It’s a beautiful area that didn’t deserve this, Dykes told CNN. A mass shooting at an LGBT+ safe place is devastating. Respect, astonishment, and shock. Nobody believes it’ll happen to them, but it does.
Tim Curran, a copy writer for the press “Early Start,” enters Club Q in Colorado Springs with his partner.
“It’s a really warm, friendly environment, a significant step forward for Springs diversity,” Curran told the press.
Jewels Parks, who has been in the Colorado drag scene for over a year and acts as Dezzy Dazzles, said Club Q was a community, family, and environment where cruelty was not tolerated.
“Club Q and other LGBTQIA+ clubs are safe spaces for a population that has felt unsafe and rejected,” Parks told CNN. “In a dark and furious world, it seems like home. We may forget about job, family, and societal concerns. Club Q lets us create friends who become family and be ourselves.
“LGBTQIA+ people have faced so much hostility. Losing our safe spot and community members is a whole other pain, said Parks.
Antonio Taylor, a Colorado Springs-born drag queen, told CNN they found Club Q in 2020. Taylor just came out as bisexual and stated they were comfortable and loved in a new world.
“They made me feel like family.” Seeing so many individuals out and proud pushed me to be myself, Taylor told CNN, adding that Club Q and its community helped them come out.
“I didn’t have to worry about my appearance or being hated,” they stated. “I’m upset that the one place I felt secure has become dangerous.”
Shenika Mosley, a 14-year Club Q regular, said the shooting drained its “positive spirit.”
Since 2009, Mosley has attended Club Q “whenever I wanted to have fun.” Never negative energy, just positive. Never again!”
Police check suspect’s background
A guy with the same name and age as the shooting suspect was detained in June for making a bomb threat.
When questioned at a press conference whether it was the same individual, authorities replied they must follow process.
Anderson Lee Aldrich was arrested in June 2021 for criminal threatening and abduction, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
The man’s mother said that he threatened her with a homemade bomb, various firearms, and ammo. Deputies phoned the suspect, but he “refused to surrender,” evacuating adjacent residences.
The sheriff’s crisis negotiating section was able to convince Aldrich to leave the home hours after the first report. He was apprehended after going out the front door. No explosives were found.
The case’s outcome was unclear.
Politicians support LGBTQ
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat and the nation’s first out homosexual governor, called the assault “horrific, horrible and terrible”
“We are forever thankful for the heroic folks who obstructed the shooter and for the first responders who reacted quickly,” he stated. “Colorado mourns with the LGBTQ community and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Club Q is one of two LGBT clubs in Colorado Springs, according to Polis.
All knew. I know this location. Unbelievable. People are still adjusting. We’ll recover, however. We’re lovable. We’re healing,” the governor stated.
Colorado’s two Democratic senators expressed sympathy and called for increased support for the LGBTQ community.
Sen. John Hickenlooper: “We must safeguard LGBTQ lives from bigotry.”
Sen. Michael Bennett: “As we seek justice for this unthinkable atrocity, we must do more to defend the LGBTQ community and fight against bigotry and hatred.”
President Biden prayed for the victims and their families.
We don’t know what motivated this assault, but the LGBTQI+ community has seen horrendous hate attacks in recent years. Gun violence continues to afflict LGBTQI+ groups throughout the country, and threats of violence are rising, Biden warned.
Colorado Springs Shooting
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