In the US state of Colorado on Saturday night, a gunman opened fire inside a homosexual bar, leaving at least five people dead and 25 injured.
Police have a suspect in custody who is receiving medical attention for injuries. According to authorities, two “heroic” clubgoers managed to take down the attacker.
Colorado Springs’ Club Q expressed its devastation over the “senseless attack” on their neighborhood in a Facebook post.
American citizens “cannot and must not tolerate bigotry,” according to US President Joe Biden.
Police requested patience from the public as they sought to identify victims and determine the ultimate death toll, noting that some people had admitted themselves to the hospital.
On Saturday at 23:57 (06:57 GMT), the first emergency call about an active shooter was received, according to the police.
The suspect was discovered in the club. The perpetrator is suspected of having used a long rifle, and two guns were discovered at the site.
Police said the inquiry would look at whether the shooting was a hate crime and whether more than one individual was involved, but they did not offer a motive for the incident.
Because of preparation for such incidents, according to a fire department spokesman, casualties had been evacuated to hospitals quite swiftly.
The FBI in nearby Denver said it was assisting local police with the incident.
Adrian Vasquez, the police chief, commended the two clubgoers for coming to the shooter’s aid.
He stated during a press conference on Sunday that “initial information and interviews indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at persons inside as he proceeded farther into the club.”
“At least two brave club patrons engaged the suspect in combat while he was inside, and together they were able to stop him from killing and hurting further people. We owe them a lot of gratitude.”
“The swift reactions of courageous patrons stopped the gunman and ended this hate crime,” said a statement on the Club Q Facebook page.
The club had planned to organize a performance event on Sunday night to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance while having a dance party at the time.
34-year-old Joshua Thurman was present in the club when the shooting occurred.
He told the Colorado Sun that at first he believed the shots were part of the music, but he subsequently fled to seek refuge in the club’s dressing area.
When he emerged, he saw bodies on the ground, along with broken glass and crying people.
“Nothing prevented the man from entering and killing us. Why did this need to occur? Why? Why did so many people have to die?”
The club, according to Mr. Thurman, a local resident who lives close by, is significant to the area’s gay culture. He thinks he knows one of the deceased.
John Soothers, the mayor of Colorado Springs, described the incident as tragic.
We are a strong community that has previously demonstrated resiliency in the face of hatred and violence, and we will do so again, he asserted.
The 22-year-old suspect’s name is Anderson Lee Aldrich.
In a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in 2015, three people were killed and nine others were hurt.
Other large-scale shootings have occurred in the state of Colorado, including one that left ten people dead in a Boulder supermarket in 2021.
Jared Polis, the gay governor of Colorado, lauded the “brave people who obstructed the gunman, probably saving lives in the process.”
He posted on Facebook, “Colorado stands with our LGTBQ Community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn.”
The White House released the following statement from President Biden: “Never let areas that are meant to be secure sanctuaries of celebration and acceptance become hotbeds of terror and violence. Yet it occurs far too frequently. The injustices that fuel violence against LGBTQI+ persons must be eliminated.”
Comments and condolences have poured onto Club Q’s Facebook page from all across the world.
One lady said that the club had long been “like a home” to her and that the news had left her “totally shattered.”
“It retains such a unique place in my heart because [I] met so many wonderful individuals there, including my husband. Over the years, everyone has always been so warm and considerate “She composed.
Another person commented, “I am very crushed by this news.
“Club Q has long served as the beating heart of our neighborhood, and I am shocked and furious that this happened.”
At the Pulse LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, a shooting in 2016 resulted in 49 fatalities and more than 50 injuries. It was the deadliest mass shooting in US history at the time.