Mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs

Authorities said Sunday that a gunman who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado – killing five and wounding 25 – was subdued by “hero” patrons who beat him with his shotgun.

It is not yet clear what the attacker’s motive was, but it is being investigated as a hate crime.

Police said the gunman, identified by police as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, opened fire on Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shortly before midnight Saturday.

Authorities said he was quickly taken into custody when police arrived a few minutes after he received a phone call.

Police tape near the scene of the fatal shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

(Thomas Peppert / Associated Press)

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said “at least two heroic individuals” confronted the gunman and stopped the gunfire, adding, “We owe them a huge thank you.”

John Southers, the mayor of Colorado Springs, said in an interview with CNN that someone in the bar took a gun from the shooter and hit him with it.

Sauters called it “an incredible act of heroism”.

Of the 25 injured, Sauters said, 19 had gunshot wounds. The mayor said none of these “really count as criticism”.

Vasquez said two firearms, including a “long gun,” were found at the scene.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who were lost, injured and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States elected governor in 2018. Shooting “disgusting”.

On Sunday afternoon, groups of friends and couples made their way to the entrance to the club’s parking lot, laying flowers near a sign reading “Love over Hate.”

Emily Badush, 26, who identifies as bisexual, lives down the street and said the club has been a haven for local LGBT people and others. “It was like the only safe place for everyone,” Baduch said with tears.

Bucky Baldwin, 57, and his wife Lisa, 58, brought flowers to show their respect. They said Baldwin works in the music industry and the couple has many gay friends. They said that hate towards the LGBT community must be confronted.

“There has to be a tolerance movement. There is an intolerance that is getting worse,” he said. “People just have to be more tolerant.”

“How do you stop hate across generations?” asked Lisa Baldwin.

The attack ended within minutes. Police received numerous 911 calls starting at 11:56 p.m., and an officer arrived in the middle of the night. Police said the suspect was arrested at 12:02 am.

Two people cuddling the morning after the shooting.

Jesse Smith Cruz embraces Jadzia Dax McClendon the morning after the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

(Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images)

Police said the suspect was being treated in hospital, adding that officers did not shoot him.

Club Q, in a statement, described the shooting as a hate attack.

“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club posted on its Facebook page. She said her prayers were with the victims and their families, adding, “We thank the quick reactions of the heroic agents who subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

Bouquets and banner reading "Love over hate" On the floor next to the police bar.

An impromptu memorial outside a nightclub in Colorado Springs.

(Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images)

The attack is the sixth mass killing in the United States this month and comes seven months after 21 were killed in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

523 mass killings have occurred in the United States since 2006 killing 2,727 people as of November 19, according to the Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the United States.

President Biden and other political leaders offered support and condolences on social media.

“While there is no clear motive for this attack, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has experienced horrific hate violence in recent years,” Biden wrote in a statement. “Gun violence continues to have a particularly devastating impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation, and threats of violence are increasing.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, noted an alarming rise in hate speech and anti-gay legislation inspiring such violence.

“You can draw a straight line from the false and vile rhetoric about the LGBTQ that is being spread by extremists and amplified via social media, to the nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year, to dozens of attacks on our society like this one,” Ellis wrote.

“This unspeakable attack has robbed countless people of their friends and family and the entire community’s sense of safety,” Ellis added.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said the department is adding patrols and increasing “visibility,” noting that today is Trans Day of Remembrance. “America mourns another mass shooting,” he said.

For years Club Q was the only gay club in Colorado Springs. “The whole idea of ​​this place [Club Q] said co-owner Nick Grzecka in a 2020 interview with Colorado Springs Indy.

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