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5 killed, 18 injured after shooter opened fire at LGBTQ nightclub, police identify gunman subdued by 'heroic' patrons
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5 killed, 18 injured after shooter opened fire at LGBTQ nightclub, police identify gunman subdued by 'heroic' patrons

An armed attacker opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado late Saturday night. The shooting killed five people and injured at least 18 others. Patrons at the gay nightclub were able to subdue the shooter.

Authorities started to receive "numerous" 911 calls at 11:56 p.m. on Saturday about a shooting at Club Q – a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. Police reportedly responded to the emergency calls in three minutes.

Colorado Springs Police deputy chief Adrian Vasquez said, "The suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting people inside."

He noted, "At least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others."

The shooter was reportedly armed with two guns, including a long rifle.

The suspect was taken into custody at 12:02 a.m., according to Lt. Pamela Castro of the Colorado Springs Police Department. The shooter was taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

FBI is on the crime scene and assisting in the investigation.

During a Sunday morning press conference, authorities identified the shooter as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldridge.

Law enforcement did not comment on a possible motive for the deadly mass shooting.

However, Club Q issued a statement that labeled the shooting as a "hate attack."

"Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack," Club Q posted on its Facebook page.

Club Q is an LGBTQ nightclub that features a "Drag Diva Drag Show" on Saturdays, according to its website.

The club was set to hold an "all ages brunch musical drag brunch" on Sunday, according to the club's Facebook page.

The club promoted the event, "Doors open at 11am for our noon ALL AGES DRAG BRUNCH!!! Join us for a fantastic drink special and even more amazing drag show! Then stick around for an all stars cast of our freshest faces! We’re celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance with a variety of gender identities and performance styles! Show starts at 8pm!”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement:

The Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs was horrific, sickening, and devastating news to wake up to. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor Suthers and clarified that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs. We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman, likely saving lives in the process, and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ Community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said, "The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly."

During the press conference, a reporter asked Vasquez if Aldrich was the same individual involved in a bomb threat in 2021. The deputy chief would not comment on the question.

In June 2021, police responded to a bomb threat in Lorson Ranch about 18 miles from Colorado Springs. The mother of the suspect called police and said her son was threatening to cause harm to her with a "homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition."

KXRM-TV reported, "Deputies responded to the home and after further investigation realized the suspect, 21-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich was in the 6300 block of Pilgrimage Road (which is approximately 1 mile away from the address on Rubicon Drive). Our deputies contacted the suspect by phone and he refused to comply with orders to surrender."

Aldrich was arrested and charged with two counts of felony meaning and three counts of first-degree kidnapping.

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