What we know so far about the Colorado Springs shooting : NPR

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Law enforcement officers walk across the parking lot of Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo, on Sunday.

Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images


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Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images


Law enforcement officers walk across the parking lot of Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo, on Sunday.

Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images

A gunman killed five people and injured at least 25 others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Authorities identified Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, as the suspect and took him into custody shortly after arriving at the scene at Club Q. Police are still investigating the shooter’s motive and whether the attack is a hate crime.

The attack comes six years after the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in modern US history, when a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Here’s what we know about the Colorado Springs shooting.

Two patrons overpowered the shooter

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said the gunman began shooting as soon as he entered the nightclub. At least two people helped subdue the gunman, whom the chief described as heroic.

“We owe them a great debt of gratitude,” he said at a press conference on Sunday.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told NPR that one of the patrons was “holding the gun of the [shooter] and hit him with the gun to knock him out.”

Club Q wrote on Facebook that the “quick responses” from customers helped end the attack, which it called a hate attack, and prevent more people from being killed or injured.

Police said the first call came in at 11:57 p.m. local time, with the first officer arriving three minutes later. The suspect was taken into custody at 12:02 AM MT.

Authorities found two firearms, including a long rifle used by the gunman in the attack.

Club Q has been a safe haven for Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ community

Opened in 2002, Club Q serves the Colorado Springs area with drag shows, karaoke, and dance parties for those 18 and older.

Both Vasquez and Colorado Governor Jared Polis called the club a “safe haven” for Colorado Springs LGBTQ residents.

“Club Q has been a safe haven for the LGBTQ community in an area where things haven’t always been easy,” Polis, who became the first openly gay governor in the US in 2018, said at a church service Sunday. “It’s a place where we can gather, dance and share the joy.”

Jessy Smith Cruz hugs Jadzia Dax McClendon the morning after a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday.

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Jessy Smith Cruz hugs Jadzia Dax McClendon the morning after a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday.

Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images

Lieutenant Pamela Castro of the Colorado Springs Police Department said the department was shocked by the attack, as the nightclub was not a problem spot for the city.

Club Q has announced that it will be closed until further notice.

The shooting took place on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance

The gunman targeted the club the night before Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs annually on November 20 to honor victims of anti-trans violence.

The Day of Remembrance began in 1999, when LGBTQ rights attorney Gwendolyn Ann Smith helped organize a vigil for Massachusetts transgender women Rita Hester and Chanelle Pickett. Both were women of color.

“No one I spoke to at the time knew who Chanelle Pickett was, even though the trial of her killer, William Palmer, had ended just months before Hester’s death,” Ann Smith wrote in 2012. “It seemed clear to me then that we forgot our past, and were – to paraphrase George Santayana – doomed to repeat it.”

Flowers and a sign reading “love over hate” were found Sunday near an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., where a shooting occurred late Saturday night.

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Flowers and a sign reading “love over hate” were found Sunday near an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., where a shooting occurred late Saturday night.

Geneva Heffernan/AP

Biden and lawmakers respond and condemn anti-LGBTQ hate crimes

D-Colour Senator Michael Bennet expressed his devastation when he heard news of the shooting in his state and called for more protection and support from the LGBTQ community.

“As we seek justice for this unimaginable act, we must do more to protect the LGBTQ community and stand firm against discrimination and hatred in any form,” he wrote on Twitter.

President Biden said in a statement: “There is no place for violence, hatred and bigotry in America. But tragically, as last night’s attack in Colorado Springs reminds us, too many LGBTQI+ people in the United States — and around the world — continue to face unscrupulous attacks.”

Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill stalled in the Senate after it passed the House in February 2021.

In June, Biden signed into law the first major gun safety bill passed by Congress in nearly 30 years, a month after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 children and two adults. The legislation expanded background checks on people between the ages of 18 and 21 who want to buy a gun and expanded an existing law that prohibits people convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun.

But he said more needs to be done.

“We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off American streets,” Biden said in a White House press release.

Juliana Kim contributed reporting.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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