Club Q shooting: Here’s what we know so far

Patrons at club took ‘heroic’ measures to stop gunman’s attack. Five killed, 25 injured, according to latest reports

Patrons at a queer Colorado nightclub are being called heroes for intervening in a deadly attack by a gunman late Saturday.

The gunman killed five people and injured at least 25 others before being subdued. Police were called to the Colorado Springs club at 11:57 p.m. and had taken the suspect, identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, into custody by 12:02 a.m.

Multiple firearms, including a “long rifle,” were found on the scene, police said, and investigators are trying to determine who they belong to.

Some of the people injured remained in critical condition Sunday and some had already been treated and released from hospital, according to the Associated Press. Victims’ names have not been released and won’t be until all family members are notified, police said. Donations are being accepted through Colorado Gives 365.

“At least two heroic people” confronted the gunman and stopped the shooting, police Chief Adrian Vasquez said during a media briefing

“We owe them a great debt of thanks,” he added. 

In a statement, Club Q called the shooting a hate attack.

“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club posted on its Facebook page. It said its prayers were with victims and families, adding: “We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

The club is one of the only spaces of its kind dedicated to the LGBTQ2S+ community in Colorado Springs, a city of about 500,000 people located an hour south of Denver. In the hours after the attack, some took to social media calling it a “safe haven.”

It was “a second home full of chosen family,”one patron told CNN.

For many, the attack brought back memories of the 2016 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that killed 49 people. It also turned the spotlight squarely on gun policy in the U.S. and stigma associated with a recent wave of anti-LGBTQ2S+ legislation, including bills that would criminalize drag shows.

Responding to questions from reporters, police said repeatedly on Sunday that investigators have not determined a motive in the Club Q attack. That came as many people shared the club’s Saturday social media post about an all ages drag brunch planned for Sunday afternoon followed by a show including “a variety of gender identities and performance styles” later in the day to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Few details about the shooter’s background have been confirmed by investigators, including if the suspect in custody is the same person who was arrested last summer in connection with a bomb threat. During Sunday’s news conference, officials said they had to follow certain protocols before releasing information about prior cases. According to a June 2021 press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s office, a man named Anderson Lee Aldrich was facing felony charges after an incident that started when his mother reported that he was “threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.”
The press release says the man refused to comply with orders to surrender and officers eventually evacuated homes in the area where the scenario was playing out. Police did not find any explosives in the home when the situation was resolved.

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