Five dead in gunfire at Colorado gay nightclub
At least five people were killed and 18 others injured after a gunman opened fire at a Colorado gay club Saturday night.
Police said the suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is in custody and being treated for injuries.
Police added that two people of “heroic” merit at the club were able to overpower the attacker.
Colorado Springs Club Q issued a statement on Facebook saying it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community” and thanked the agents who “overwhelmed” the shooter.
Police asked people for patience while they worked to identify the victims and determine the final death toll.
Colorado Springs Police said they received a preliminary 911 call about an active gunman at their local meeting at 11:57 p.m. Saturday.
The suspect was found at the club when police entered. Two firearms were also found at the scene and it is believed the suspect used a long gun in the attack.
Police did not immediately give a motive for the shooting, saying the number of dead and injured could change as the investigation progresses.
A spokesman for the fire department said the injured were taken to hospitals very quickly due to training for such events.
The FBI in nearby Denver said it was assisting local police in the incident.
Police Chief Adrian Vasquez thanked the two clubgoers who intervened to stop the shooter.
“The evidence and initial questioning indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at the occupants as he entered the club,” he said in a news conference on Sunday.
He added: “While the suspect was at the club, at least two heroes at the club confronted and fought with the suspect and managed to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. We owe them a big thank you.”
A statement released on Club Q’s Facebook page thanked “the quick response of heroic customers who overpowered the shooter and ended this hate attack.”
The club was hosting a dance party at the time and was planning an event to celebrate Transgender Remembrance Day on Sunday night to commemorate people who were killed because of their homophobia and gender identity.
The club’s Facebook page was flooded with comments and condolences from around the world.
One person wrote that the club had been “their home” for many years and that the news left them “completely devastated”.
“[I]met so many amazing people, I met my husband there so it (the place) has a special place in my heart. Everyone there has always been so welcoming and so sweet over the years,” she wrote.[Equiteقدققققققذذذذذذاspecifictheis[لقدقابلتالكثيرمنالأشخاصالعظماء،قابلتزوجيهناك،لذلكفهو(المكان)يحتلمكانةخاصةفيقلبيكانالجميعهناكدائماًمرحّبينجداًولطيفينللغايةعلىمرالسنين”
Another commenter added: “I am so devastated by this news. Club Q+ has been the heart of our community for so long and I am devastated and angry that this has happened.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Southers described the event as a tragedy.
In 2016, a shooting at Pulse gay club in Orlando, Florida killed 49 people and injured more than 50.
US President Barack Obama described the attack as “an act of terror and an act of hatred”.
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