Five people dead in LGBTQ nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs

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Club Q in Colorado Springs after the mass shooting.
Club Q in Colorado Springs after the mass shooting. CNN Screenshot

Five people were killed by a shooter Saturday night at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs according to local police. The attack occurred just before midnight according to police dispatchers. More than a dozen are seriously injured and the shooter is in custody this morning.

Club Q said on its Facebook page that it “is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends.”

Lt. Pamela Castro, a public information officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department, said at a news conference outside of Club Q nightclub overnight that the investigation was just beginning and that there were five dead and 15 injured and was subject to change. She added that the victims had been taken to multiple area hospitals. UPDATE 8pm: Twenty-five people were injured in the shooting, seven more than the initial count, the Colorado Springs police said in an update.

The number of injured has increased to 18 as of early this morning.

Christian Fuscarino the Executive Director of Garden State Equlaity said, “We were heartbroken to wake up today to news of another senseless attack against the LGBTQ+ community, this time at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs. It is even more gut-wrenching to know that this attack came on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance. Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by this tragedy.

“The mass shooting, which killed at least five and injured at least 18, is a stark reminder that despite the progress our community has made, the threat of discrimination and violence against us just for being who we are is still very real.”

Garden State Equality confirmed with the New Jersey Attorney General that there are no similar active threats in New Jersey based on their intelligence. The New Jersey Attorney General said additional law enforcement will be present at all LGBTQ events today and tonight. Transgender Day of Remembrance events, bars and clubs will see additional law enforcement to protect the LGBTQ community.

Local police in Colorado Springs received the 911 call about an active shooting at 11:57 pm last night, Lieutenant Castro said. Officers entered the club which is located in a strip mall on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Colorado. They took into custody an individual they believe to be the suspect. He was injured and is being treated at a local hospital, Lieutenant Castro said. UPDATE: A man with the same name and age as the club shooting suspect was arrested in June 2021. At that time he was accused of engaging in a lengthy standoff with the police after threatening to hurt his mother with a homemade bomb.

On Facebook, Club Q  said, “We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.” UPDATE: Police have verified that a patron took a handgun from the suspect and hit him with it to subdue him. He is being credited with preventing a deadly shooting from being far worse, the club’s owners said on Sunday.

“He saved dozens and dozens of lives,” one of the owners of Club Q, Matthew Haynes, said at a vigil. “Stopped the man cold! Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him.” Mr. Haynes and the club’s other owner, Nic Grzecka, said they reviewed surveillance video that showed the gunman enter the building and immediately begin firing. Customers and staff members were among the five dead.

Mr. Grzecka said the shooting lasted no more than two minutes before the patron subdued the gunman, and another patron helped hold him down. Police arrived about three minutes later, he said.

“As a survivor of Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Florida June 12, 2016, and I know what y’all are going through… My heart is hurting this morning,” said Cristopher Chancen Hansen on Facebook. “And my condolences go out to the family and friends of those affected by this senseless act of violence against our LGBTQ Community!!! This has to stop!!!”

This is the latest anti-LGBTQ shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub since the 2016 Pulse Nightclub murder spree in Orlando Florida where 49 people were killed and 53 were injured by a gunman.