Colorado Springs shooting
The gunman, 22, was spotted entering the LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at around midnight on Saturday. He immediately began shooting, which killed five people, and injured 25 others. Several patrons confronted him, and he was stopped, police reported Sunday.
The suspect who was involved in this shooting incident in Club Q has been confirmed by the name of Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. He was using a long-range rifle during the shooting and two firearms at the scene of the shooting, Vasquez stated.
At least two club members stopped the gunman, preventing the violence from continuing. “We owe great debt to them, thanks” Vasquez said.
Police said they were looking into whether the incident was a hate crime. They also emphasized the relationship between Club Q and the LGBTQ community.
Vasquez proclaimed, “Club Q is a safe sanctuary for our LGBTQ citizens.”
“Every person has a right to feel safe and secure in our city and to go about without fear of being injured or treated unfairly,” the city’s charter states.
In a statement posted on the social networks, Club Q said it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community” and expressed its gratitude to “This hate attack was put an end by the quick actions of the brave customers.”
Club Q posted earlier in the day that their Saturday night program would include an alternative and punk show starting at 9:00 p.m. and an after-party beginning at 11. The club also plans to host the drag brunch and show on Sunday to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. The club’s website now states it will remain closed until the following notice.
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Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags lowered to half-staff in every public building across the state in honor of those killed in the massacre starting on Monday and lasting until Saturday in a news announcement issued by his governor’s office.
According to the press release, flags will be lowered for five days to honour each of the five people who died in this senseless tragedy. The Polis-Primavera administration will fly the Pride flag at the Colorado state capitol for the following five days in addition to other acts of respect and remembrance for the deceased and those hurt in this tragedy.
The shooting occurred on Sunday when the calendar changed toward Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s reminiscent of the shooting in 2016 in the LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the case of a gunman who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. Islamic State almost killed 51 people and injured at least 56.
Colorado has been the location of many of the most horrendous massacres in US history, such as the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School and the shooting at a movie theater in 2012 in Aurora. Colorado Springs was the site of massacres at Planned Parenthood in November 2015 that killed three and also at a birthday party in December of last year, which resulted in six deaths.
According to the data of the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 600 shootings in mass across the United States so far this year. A mass shooting is a shooting in which at least four persons are killed, but not the shooter.
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Joshua Thurman told CNN affiliate KOAA that he was at the club when he heard shots and observed a muzzle flash.
The man explained, “I kept dancing because I thought it was the music. “I then heard another round of gunfire, and I ran to the dressing room, got down on the floor, locked the doors, and immediately called the police,” the victim recalls.
Thurman told me he heard the sound of gunshots and people crying, and windows being shattering. As he walked out and saw dead bodies on the floor, broken glass, and blood, he claimed.
The incident lasted only a few minutes. Numerous 911 call calls were beginning with 11:56 p.m. The officers were dispatched at 1157 p.m. An officer arrived around midnight, while the suspect was arrested around 12:02 a.m. According to police, the suspect was detained at 12:02 a.m. 39 officers from the patrol attended, and police said they had Fire Department Captain Mike Smaldino stated that 11 ambulances were on the scene.
Authorities initially said 18 people were injured but adjusted that total to 25. According to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers on Sunday, 19 of the 25 injured suffered gunshot wounds. Suthers stated that he expects the injured victims to survive based on conversations with medical professionals, and the community is “crossing our fingers” for no additional fatalities.
The suspect is receiving treatment in a hospital, police said. Police did not shoot the suspect, according to police.
Joseph Sheldon told CNN affiliate KRDO that he was at the bar on Saturday evening to pick up an acquaintance around 10 minutes before the gunman fired.
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Since turning 18 and being an adult, I’ve been this establishment a number of times. Many of the patrons are friends, they’re family members, and a large portion are people I’ve bonded with,” the man said.
“Whether it’s a hate crime or not, it’s difficult to see that this is happening, that this occurred in my neighbourhood, that this happened in a location I frequent and feel secure in, and that this happened at a location where, had I stayed ten more minutes, I would have been in the centre of it.”
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Club Q was a safe place for the LGBTQ community.
Colorado Springs, the state’s second-highest-populous city, has less than 500,000 people living there and has a variety of military bases. It is also the headquarters of Focus on the family, the conservative Christian organization that claims that homosexuality and marriage that is same-sex are both sins.
Club Q began in 2002 and was, at times, the only LGBTQ club in the city.
“Proudly queer Club Q has stood as a bastion of the LGBTQ community where others have fallen,” 5280 magazines wrote in a feature in 2000. “It’s the place where LGBTQ individuals go to for drag shows as well as dance parties and even drinks. The club is a community-based organization that supports it with events, pride celebrations and sponsorships fundraising drives, and much many more. Although the club has recently moved to provide more laid-back dinner and show vibes before 10 p.m. It’s popular as a place for queer teens to come and get dancing.”
In a July 2020 conversation in July 2020 with Colorado Springs Indy, Club Q owner Nic Grzecka outlined why the two of them established the restaurant.
“The whole idea of this place (Club Q) is to have a safe place – to get a permanent one in the city,” Grzecka stated.
He and his business partner toured other popular LGBTQ locations and observed the same motif: “They were gay as hell,” Grzecka said to the publication. “They included bartenders, go-go dancers, and drag queens. We knew that we needed to be gay (to endure).”
The restaurant also hosts events for guests of all ages, like brunch and a planned Thanksgiving celebration.
Tiana Nicole Dykes, a native of Colorado Springs, described Club Q as “a second home full with chosen family.”
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“I’m there every week, If not every week. This place is very important for me. The energy of the people and the message. It’s an incredible place which didn’t need this tragedy,” Dykes told CNN on Sunday. “Something like an attack on a mass scale in the LGBT+ safe space is destructive beyond imagination. There are feelings of disdain or disbelief. It’s total shock. Everyone never thinks that it will occur to them, but occasionally it happens.”
Tim Curran, a copy editor at CNN’s “Early Start,” is frequent on the floor of Club Q with his boyfriend when he is visiting relatives living in Colorado Springs.
“It’s a very warm, welcoming space, definitely a big step up for diversity in the Springs,” Curran stated to CNN.
Jewels Parks, who has been a part of the Colorado drag scene for more than one year and has performed under the name Dezzy Dazzles, stated that the club Q was a place of community that was a home, a family, and an area where the outside world’s violence was not accepted.
“Club Q, along with all of the other LGBTQIA+ bars, represent a safe space for a community that has felt unsafe and rejected for most of their lives,” Parks said to CNN. “There is a place that seems like home in a world that is so depressing and full with rage. We can relax and forget about the issues in family, work, society. Thanks to Club Q, we’re able to build relationships that transform into family, and to be accepted for who we really are.”
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“The LGBTQIA+ community has suffered a lot of discrimination and hate already. It’s a shame to have our sanctuary removed from us and lose people from our community is another kind of pain,” Parks added.
Antonio Taylor, a drag queen, raised and born in Colorado Springs, told CNN that they came across Club Q in 2020 after they attended their first drag event. Taylor has recently come to the public as bisexual, claiming an entirely new world became available to them, a world in which they were secure and loved.
“I felt like I was a part of a big family among the attendees. The sheer number of people who were who are proud of themselves certainly inspired me to become my authentic individual,” Taylor told CNN. She added that Club Q and its community made them feel confident to be themselves.
“This was one of the places where I didn’t have to worry about looks or people hating me for who I am,” they declared. “I’m sick to my stomach that the one place where I knew I was safe has been made unsafe.”
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Shenika Mosley, a 14-year patron of Club Q, said the shooting was a blow to Club Q’s “good energy.”
Mosley has been a frequent visitor to Club Q since 2009 and was often on the doorstep “anytime I needed to go away and to have a blast. It was just a great place to be … always good energy. We’ll never experience that kind of energy again.”
Lily Forsell had a similar opinion, as she said she’d celebrated her birthday in the club and went home just as shots began to sound out. She told me she could remember the atmosphere on the dance floor as she left with a crowd of people singing, laughing, and dancing.
“Looking at that dance floor is going to be a completely different feeling, now that we know what happened to 30 people on that floor,” Forsell stated to CNN. “I think about all the drag queens constantly.” They were able to leave safely however, two of them whom I first seen last night, were forced to leave the building, passing by the horrible scene. Their friends were wounded or killed on the ground.”
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Police investigate past suspects.
Aldrich was detained in June 2021 for his involvement in a bomb threat that caused a standoff in his mother’s home, according to a news statement from El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the time. He was also the former landlord of his mother.
The two law enforcement officers confirmed that the suspect in the nightclub shooting and the bomb threat was the same person, based on date and name. Birth.
The video obtained from CNN shows that Aldrich was able to surrender to police last year following an alleged bomb threat. Video footage from the Ring door camera belonging to the homeowner shows him leaving home with his hands in the air, his feet on the ground, and walking toward Sheriff’s deputies.
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According to El Paso’s release, Aldrich was arrested in July for a menacing felony and kidnapping in the first degree. El Paso release.
Sheriff’s deputies responded mother’s report that the suspect was “threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition,” according to the release. The suspect was contacted by deputies, who “refused to comply with orders to surrender,” the release stated, prompting the deputies to remove homes in the area.
After a few hours following the initial call to the police after the initial police call, the sheriff’s crisis negotiation team was able to convince Aldrich to leave the property, and he was detained as he went through the doorway. The authorities did not discover any explosives inside the house.
Leslie Bowman, who owns the house where her mother resided, gave CNN the video. Bowman stated that Aldrich’s mom was a tenant in the place for barely one year. The Aldrich family often would “come by and visit his mom and hang out in her room,” Bowman stated. She described him to be “not very sociable.”
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Once, Bowman said, Aldrich became angry with her in an argument over the bathroom toilet that wasn’t working and then slammed the door into her face.
“That was the only time he was aggressive or angry towards me,” she stated.
The efforts of CNN to reach the mother of Aldrich for comment have been unsuccessful.
It’s not sure what the case regarding the bomb threat was resolved. However, The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the district attorney’s office stated that no formal charges were filed. The district attorney’s office has not responded to requests for comments from CNN.
According to the newspaper, Aldrich also contacted the Gazette to have an earlier story regarding the incident in 2021 removed from the site. Aldrich said in a recorded message, according to the Gazette, “There is absolutely nothing there, the case was dismissed, and I’m requesting you either remove or correct the report.”
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Politicians show support for the LGBTQ community.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, and the first governor openly gay, issued a statement on Sunday, calling the incident “horrific, sickening and devastating” and offered state resources for police officers in the local area.
He continued, “We are eternally grateful for the courageous people who stood in the way of the shooter, probably saving lives in the process, and for the first responders who acted quickly to stop this horrific shooting. “As we grieve together, Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone affected by this tragedy.”
Polis said that CNN’s Jim Acosta has only two gay bars in Colorado Springs, and Club Q was one of the most popular venues.
“Everyone knew about it. I knew about it, was aware of the venue. It’s quite surreal. It’s still settling in for the majority of people. But I’m confident that we’ll be able come back. We’re showing our love to each other. We’re showing compassion for each other,” the governor said.
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Two Colorado US senators and senators from Colorado, both Democrats, have expressed their condolences through statements and suggested that more needs to be done to support the LGBTQ community.
Sen. John Hickenlooper said, “We have to defend LGBTQ lives from this bigotry. As we work to bring those responsible for this horrifying act to justice, we also need to do more to safeguard the LGBTQ community and combat prejudice and hatred in all of its forms.
Vice President Joe Biden also released the following statement, stating that he is praying for the families of the victims as well as their loved ones.
“While there is no reason for this incident is yet known but we do know that members of the LGBTQI+ community has faced horrendous hate crimes during the past few months. Violence from guns continues to have an unsettling and devastating effect for LGBTQI+ communities across our country and the threats of violence are growing,” Biden said in the statement written by Biden.
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