Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community is “heartbroken” after the deadly shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, that killed five and injured over a dozen.
“Club Q is the only LGBTQ space in Colorado Springs and we don’t even have that anymore. What we gonna do? How do we progress from this? We can not. We are shaken. We’re broken,” said 34-year-old Joshua Thurman The Denver Post Reporter Shelly Bradbury on Sunday.
In a separate commentary from local news outlet KOAA News 5, Thurman, who was present at the filming, said: “As a black kid, being gay is taboo, so coming here is one of the first places I felt accepted to.” be who i am It should be our safe place. A community shouldn’t have to go through something like this for us to come together. This is our home. This is our room. We come here to have fun and this happens?”
Police said 25 people were injured after a gunman with a long rifle opened fire at the club, NBC News reported. Police say the shooter’s motive is still unclear. Authorities identified the shooter as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich.
Lt. Pamela Castro told reporters in a news conference Sunday that Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) officers were first briefed on the shooting at 11:56 p.m. Saturday night. The first officer was dispatched to the scene a minute later and police arrived at Club Q around midnight. The suspect was arrested two minutes later.
CSPD chief Adrian Vasquez, who described the tragedy as “senseless and nasty,” later confirmed that Aldrich was the suspect and that two firearms were found at the scene.
“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBT citizens. Every citizen has the right to feel safe and secure in our beautiful city. The suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at people inside as he proceeded further into the club,” Vasquez said.
He added: “While the suspect was at the club, at least two heroic individuals at the club decided to confront and fight with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill or harm others. We owe them a great debt and thank you.”
According to NBC News, ahead of Transgender Memorial Day, which is observed annually on November 20, the nightclub hosted a “Drag Divas” show on Saturday night, followed by a DJ segment.
Authorities are still investigating the incident and have yet to determine whether or not the shooting was a hate crime against LGBTQ people and whether another suspect was linked to the incident.
A small memorial with flowers has been set up to honor the victims of the shooting, according to a picture posted by Bradbury, with a sign that reads “Love over Hate”. A woman with flowers, whose name was not released, told Bradbury that “it could have been any of us”.
“You’re trying to live your best life as authentically as possible, and then something like this happens,” said 18-year-old Robin Levisky The Denver Post On Sunday.
The shooting also caused an uproar among politicians and officials, as Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, tweeted, “I am devastated to hear of the Colorado Springs shooting that tragically took five more lives. Thinking of their families and loved ones and sending strength to the injured, the survivors and the LGBTQ community in Colorado.”
In a separate tweet, the senator continued, “As we seek justice for this unimaginable act, we must do more to protect the LGBTQ community and stand up against discrimination and hatred in all forms.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden condemned the attack in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
“We know that the LGBTQI+ community has faced terrible hate violence in recent years. Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities in our country, and threats of violence are increasing,” said the President.
“Places that should be safe places of acceptance and celebration should never become places of terror and violence. And yet it happens far too often. We must root out the injustices that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate,” Biden added.
news week reached out to the Colorado Springs Police Department for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/colorado-springs-lgbt-community-responds-club-q-shooting-were-broken-1760941 Colorado Springs LGBT community responds to Club Q shooting: ‘We’re broken’