A gunman opened fire inside of an LGBTQ nightspot in Colorado Springs late on Saturday, authorities said, resulting in the deaths of at least five people and injuries to 25 more before being stopped by “heroic” clubgoers.
The investigation into whether or not the attack was motivated by hatred was announced by the authorities on Sunday.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was named as the suspect by the police, who stated that he was armed with a “long rifle.” According to the officials, he was brought into custody by the police not long after the shooting started, and he was being treated for his injuries at the time.
The shooting was eerily similar to the shooting that took place at the Pulse club in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, when a gunman opened fire inside the gay nightclub of the same name and killed 49 people before he was slain by police.
It occurred as LGBTQ communities and allies around the world were getting ready to observe the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday. This is an event that is held to honor transphobic violence victims and is held annually.
In Colorado’s second-largest city, many members of the LGBTQ community have referred to the Club Q, a venue that has been around for a long time and is located in a tiny strip mall, as a safe haven.
Gunman kills 5 in Colorado LGBTQ nightclub https://t.co/GccnMCJqkt
In a statement condemning the violence, President Joe Biden said Americans must not tolerate hate.#ArianaNews #US #Gunman #Colorado #LGBTQ #nightclub pic.twitter.com/HRpULxLxc6
— Ariana News (@ArianaNews_) November 21, 2022
According to an interview with Daniel Aston’s mother, Sabrina Aston, Colorado Public Radio was able to determine that one of the victims was a transgender man named Daniel Aston, who was 28 years old and worked as a bartender at the club. Daniel Aston also performed as a dancer in various shows.
According to Sabrina Aston, “He was happy he had ever been in his entire life.” “He was flourishing, having a good time, and making new friends. It’s just incredible. He had so much more life to give to all of us, his friends, and to himself, and yet he took his own life.”
The initial phone call about the shooting was received just before midnight, according to the police, and the suspect has apprehended within minutes thanks to the prompt action of law enforcement and the bravery of at least two customers who intervened in the situation.
According to the New York Times, which cited the club owners, who stated that they did not know the man, the shooter entered the establishment brandishing a rifle, a flak jacket in the style of the military, and what appeared to be six magazines of ammunition.
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Chief of Police Adrian Vasquez of the Colorado Springs Police Department stated at a press conference on Sunday that multiple firearms, including the rifle, were discovered at the location.
Joshua Thurman, a customer, struggled to keep his composure while telling reporters that he was dancing inside the club when he first heard the sound of gunshots. He went in search of safety and locked himself up in a dressing room with some other individuals, praying for his life and thinking about the people he cared about.
Thurman claimed that everyone had spoken to them. “Additional gunshots could be heard. We overheard the attacker being beaten up by someone, and I presumed that it was the person who had tackled him. We heard the police officers enter the building. We overheard them berating him with loud shouts. They were quoted as saying, “Take certain people because they’re critical,” and we overheard them saying this.”
According to the authorities, a number of those who were injured were in critical condition and were receiving treatment at local hospitals.
In a statement published on Facebook, Club Q referred to the incident as a “hate attack” and thanked the “heroic customers” for bringing the gunman under control.