Police say that a 22-year-old gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado. As a result, flags were flown at half-staff over the city, and more police patrols were expected to keep the community safe.
The Associated Press named the gunman as Anderson Lee Aldrich. He was in police custody and being treated for his injuries.
Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said, “At least two brave people confronted the shooter and stopped the shooting.” He also said, “We owe them a lot of thanks.”
Club Q is a nightclub for gay and lesbian people. Its website says that on Saturdays, it has a “Drag Diva Drag Show.” Club Q’s Facebook page said that, in addition to the drag show, there would be a “punk and alternative show” before a birthday dance party and an “all ages brunch” on Sunday.
Officials said that some of the 18 people who were hurt were in critical condition, and at least two had been treated and were back on their feet. Some of the people who were injured were trying to get away.
Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne said, “I woke up to the terrible news that another mass shooting had happened at an LGBTQ nightclub.” “Five people from our community died, and others were hurt at Club Q in Colorado Springs. I feel bad for their families. I’m so sad that our community still has to deal with hate. West Hollywood stands together against hate and gun violence.”
“This attack makes all of us sick as Americans,” said Councilmember John D’Amico. And we know instinctively that these acts of domestic terror will not stop until sensible gun laws and gun ownership rules are in place.
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Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath said, “My heart breaks when I hear about another senseless shooting that hurts our LGBTQ family, this time in Colorado Springs.” “We must be brave and act bold to get rid of hate, protect our neighbours, and change a culture that lets gun violence destroy our country. The City of West Hollywood is taking steps to find out if this senseless shooting has led to any real threats and to keep our community safe at all times. Please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station if you have any problems .”
The city said in a news release that the City of West Hollywood and its Transgender Advisory Board are recognising November as Transgender Awareness Month. The news of the mass shooting at Club Q comes simultaneously.
Even though the reason for the shootings isn’t clear yet, President Joe Biden said, “We know that the LGBTQI+ community has been the target of horrible hate violence in the past few years.”
“Places that are supposed to be safe, accepting, and fun should never be turned into places of terror and violence. “Yet it happens way too often,” he said. “We need to get rid of the unfair conditions that lead to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We can’t and shouldn’t put up with hate.”
Extremists have been saying more and more anti-gay things, but it’s not clear yet what the reason was or what the victims’ gender identities were. Club Q said in a statement that the shooting was a hate crime.
El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said the attack was still being looked into to see if it was a hate crime. Investigators were still trying to figure out why it happened. He said that the suspect will likely be charged with murder in the first degree.