Colorado Springs shooting: what we know about rampage that left five dead, 25 injured at LGBT+ club

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A gunman killed five people and wounded 25 others in a mass shooting at an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs on Nov. 19.

Police officers arrived at the scene at 11:57 p.m. after 911 dispatchers received “numerous” calls that there was an active shooter at the club, according to Colorado Springs Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Pam Castro.

Club Q said it was “devastated” by the attack and called the incident a hate crime.

A post on the club’s Facebook page said people inside the building helped stop the gunman.

“U.S [prayers] and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends,” said a post on the club’s Facebook page. “We thank the prompt responses from heroic customers who suppressed the shooter and ended this hate attack.”

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was named as a suspect.

He allegedly used an AR-15 style rifle as he “immediately started firing” upon entering the club, according to Colorado Springs deputy chief Adrian Vasquez at a press conference Sunday morning.

Drag performer Del Lusional hosted a punk and alternative show scheduled at 9 p.m., followed by a DJ and dancing from 11 p.m. into the early morning hours.

“I was walking backstage when I heard the shots. I only saw the costing and even then I didn’t want to look,” Del Lusional wrote in a post on Twitter.

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In another post, the artist said: “I never thought this would happen to me and my bar. I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t stop hearing the shots.”

At least two “heroic people within the club confronted and fought with the suspect,” Vasquez said.

“Their actions clearly saved lives,” added Mayor John Suthers.

A victim ran from the scene to a nearby 7-Eleven and collapsed, according to a witness who spoke to Colorado Public Radio.

“One of the victims was shot seven times and ran here to get help,” he said. “He collapsed. That’s why the warning tape is hanging up front.’

Joshua Thurman told reporters on Sunday morning that he stood on the dance floor “and heard about four or five shots” and continued to dance, believing the sounds were coming from the music.

“Then I heard more shots and saw the flash from the barrel of the gun, and ran to the back to a locker room. I was with another customer and we locked the door and lay down on the floor,” he said. “I thought, ‘I hope I get out alive.'”

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More than 30 firefighters and 11 ambulances arrived at the scene, and ambulances transported three patients at a time to local hospitals.

Ten victims were transported to Memorial Hospital Central. Two others were taken to Memorial Hospital North, where patients are in critical condition, chief physician David Steinbruner said.

At least one person has died in hospital, police said.

The FBI is also assisting the Colorado Springs Police Department in an investigation.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the nation’s first openly gay governor, condemned the “horrific, sickening and devastating” mass shooting in a statement through his office.

“Colorado stands with our LGBT+ community and everyone affected by this tragedy as we mourn,” he wrote.

Club Q was set to host an all-ages drag brunch on Sunday in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The club is said to host a “variety of gender identities and performance styles”.

Club Q also planned a “Friendsgiving Dinner” to provide free meals to people of all ages. The club will remain closed until further notice.

According to a recent report by the Human Rights Campaign, at least 300 transgender and non-conforming people have been murdered in the US in the past decade. There have been 32 deaths in 2022 alone.

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“Gun violence continues to have a devastating and singular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our country and the threat of violence is increasing,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on Sunday. “We must dispel the inequalities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate.”

Congressman David Cicilline, chairman of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, said a “toxic combination of hate and access to guns in this country is leading to deadly results.”

“We must honor the lives lost in this shooting and all LGBTQ+ lives lost to violence with action — action to address the dual epidemics of hate and gun violence in this country,” he said in a statement. .

The shooting is reminiscent of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, in which a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53, the deadliest attack on LGBT+ people in US history.

Colorado has been the site of several mass shootings, including the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting.

Club Q is located in a relatively busy part of town on a major thoroughfare near chain restaurants and pharmacies.

This is a developing story and will be updated

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