Five people were killed, and 18 others were hurt in a shooting overnight at an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, according to police early on Sunday.
The “hate attack” was described as such by Club Q, where police said the first complaint came in just before midnight.
Police spokesperson Lt. Pamela Castro informed the media that the suspect was hurt, in custody, and undergoing medical attention at a hospital. She said the FBI cooperated in the inquiry but declined to speculate on a possible motivation.
Club Q stated on its Facebook page, thanking the short acts of its brave patrons for putting an end to the hate crime. Hours earlier, the club had announced plans for a drag brunch to honour Sunday’s Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The statement read, “Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. According to a directory entry by an LGBTQ community organisation in the Rocky Mountain area, the location is advertised as a gay and lesbian nightclub that holds theme nights with karaoke and drag performances.
After hearing of the incident, police entered the club overnight and found “one person suspected to be the suspect inside,” according to Castro.
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She added that police and ambulances have taken “many persons” to hospitals, adding that the death toll “is subject to change as the investigation progresses.” She stated that the hospitals are assisting in informing the victims’ families. It wasn’t immediately clear if the suspect was one of the 18 hurt.
34 firefighters and 11 ambulances were sent to the area, according to Capt. Mike Smaldino, a spokeswoman for the fire department, to assist in getting patients to hospitals as fast as possible.
The first openly gay person elected to Congress from Illinois, Rep.-elect Eric Sorensen (D), tweeted early on Sunday, “As we pray for those fighting for life, we must use loud voices to stand up against bigotry.” “Our country must turn down the vile speech aimed at our LGBTQ people,” he added, citing the shooting.
In 2016, a shooter opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others in one of the bloodiest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. Before the shooter, who had sworn loyalty to the terrorist organisation Islamic State, was killed in a gunfight with a SWAT unit, people were trapped for hours.
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