5 Killed as Gunman Opens Fire at Gay Nightclub, ‘Heroic’ Patrons Stopped Him, Police Say

Colorado Springs PD Facebook-Kelly Loving: She/Her
Daniel Aston: He/Him
Derrick Rump: He/Him
Ashley Paugh: She/Her
Raymond Green Vance: He/Him

A 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs named Club Q, shortly before midnight Saturday and started firing, killing at least five people and injuring 18, authorities said Sunday. According to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, the suspect is Anderson Lee Aldrich. He fired with a long rifle, and two more guns were discovered at the site, according to Vasquez.

According to Vasquez, two people inside the club fought the gunman, preventing additional violence. Joshua Thurman of CNN affiliate KOAA, said he was at the club dancing when he heard shooting noises and saw a flash.

Club Q started in 2002 and was the only LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, the state’s second-most populous city with just under 500,000 residents, until recently. Earlier in the day, Club Q announced that its Saturday night roster will include a punk and alternative event at 9 p.m., followed by a dance party at 11 p.m. On Sunday, the club scheduled a drag brunch and a drag show to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The shooting site is similar to the 2016 attack on an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which a gunman who declared loyalty to the Islamic State murdered 49 people and injured at least 53 others. Colorado has been the site of some of the most terrible mass shootings in US history, including the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2012 Aurora movie theatre incident.

Police stated they were looking into whether the attack was a hate crime and mentioned Club Q’s ties to the LGBTQ community.

Aldrich is now being held in protective custody at a nearby hospital for unspecified injuries. The Colorado Springs man was supposedly jailed previously for making a bomb threat. Several victims, some of whom were in critical condition, were taken to three neighboring hospitals. The medical facilities are currently working to notify relatives of the circumstances of their loved ones. FBI agents are now supporting Colorado Springs police with the investigation, which, according to Lieutenant Pamela Castro, is still in its early stages.

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