Police search for motive after deadly shooting at Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub

Investigators are determining whether to charge a 22-year-old suspect with a hate crime after he killed five people and injured 25 more at an establishment that was observing the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Emergency teams, at the scene of the shooting, this Sunday in Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA).
Emergency teams, at the scene of the shooting, this Sunday in Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA).REUTERS

Police on Monday were expected to release more details about a weekend shooting that left five people dead and 25 more injured at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Several victims remained in critical condition on Monday, two days after a gunman opened fire at the establishment.

Investigators have not yet found a motive for the deadly attack against Club Q, which on Saturday night was observing the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor victims of other violent attacks. It is still unclear whether prosecutors will charge the shooter with a hate crime, although investigators said they are pursuing that possibility.

The gunman walked in and immediately started firing before being subdued by several patrons, said Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. “They managed to stop him from continuing to kill and injure others. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”

Security forces have detained a suspect, who was also injured and treated at a local hospital while in custody. Michael Allen of Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, who is in charge of the case, told a press conference the suspect has been identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22.

The attacker entered the club armed with a long rifle and “immediately began shooting at the people inside as he advanced toward the back” of the establishment, said Vasquez, citing eyewitness accounts. According to a spokeswoman for the local police department, Lt. Pamela Castro, officers received the first emergency call at 11.57pm.

City leaders in Colorado Springs condemned the attack against a club that was described by many patrons as a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community in a conservative town. “As a community, we will provide for the victims and witnesses of this horrific event and law enforcement will pursue this case with the zealousness that the case deserves,” said the mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, on Twitter.

Employees of Club Q posted a message on their Facebook page describing themselves as “devastated by the senseless attack on our community” and thanking “the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

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