Gunman kills 5 at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs

An LGBTQ nightclub shooting caused 5 deaths and 25 injuries, before “heroic” patrons “tackled” the gunman to prevent more tragedy.

Just short of midnight on Saturday (November 19), a gunman opened fire at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring 25 others.

As reported by CNN, the perpetrator has been identified as a 22-year-old man named Anderson Lee Aldrich, who is now facing “five counts of a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury” and “five counts of first-degree murder.” 

Credit: Matthew Staver / The Washington Post / Getty Images

According to authorities, Aldrich used a long rifle to commit the crime, and two additional firearms were also found at the scene. As outlined in online court records, the gunman has no bail, and it is not yet known if he has acquired an attorney.

The owners of Club Q told The New York Times that Aldrich arrived heavily armed, and was wearing a “military-style flak jacket.” As reported by the Times, one of the owners named Matthew Haynes declared the perpetrator entered the nightclub with “tremendous firepower.”

Club Q
Credit: Helen H. Richardson / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post / Getty Images

Joshua Thurman, a patron who witnessed the incident, recounted the moment he heard gunshots to KOAA News5: “I thought it was the music, so I kept dancing. Then I heard another set of shots and then me and a customer ran to the dressing room, got on the ground and locked the doors, and called the police immediately.” 

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials have paid tribute to at least two attendees of Club Q, who intercepted the shooter’s violent acts. Club owner, Haynes explained to the Times, “One customer took down the gunman and was assisted by another.” According to Haynes, the first attendee involved saved “saved dozens and dozens of lives. Stopped the man cold. Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him.”

Democratic governor, Jared Polis, made a statement on Sunday (November 20), calling the incident “horrific, sickening and devastating.” 

Polis continued, “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 together.”