Colorado Springs gay club shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich was charged Monday with five counts of murder and five counts of committing a hate crime
Five people were killed, 25 people were injured when a gunman armed with AR-15-style rifle opened fire inside a gay in Colorado Springs, late Saturday night
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, reportedly, entered Club Q just before midnight and fired an unknown number of rounds before he was tackled to the ground by two patrons
Aldrich is now in protective custody at a local hospital for unknown injuries
He was previously arrested for making a bomb threat in June 2021
This is the 27th mass shooting to take place in the US in November alone
It occurred on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed annually to honor the memory of trans people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-trans violence.
Colorado gay club shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich along with video he filmed of himself threatening to blow his mother’s house to ‘holy hell’ a year ago.
Alleged Colorado ‘Gay club shooter’ Anderson Lee Aldrich was charged Monday with five counts of murder and five counts of committing a hate crime.
He was taken into custody on Saturday, after he allegedly opened fire in Club Q a gay club in Colorado Springs, just before midnight, murdering five people and injuring others.
The club’s owners say he arrived with ‘tremendous firepower’ – an AR-15 rifle, six magazines of ammo and a handgun. Patrons used the handgun he was carrying to beat him to the ground until police arrived. The sheriff’s department has not yet released his mugshot.
A 22-year-old gunman was taken into police custody early Sunday morning after two heroic clubgoers tackled him to the ground to stop him from firing more rounds at a gay nightclub in Colorado. The gunman entered Club Q in Colorado Springs just before midnight and began shooting. Club patrons were able to stop the gunman, police say. The suspect is in custody.
Authorities say the shooter later identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich entered the gay club just before midnight and fired an unknown number of bullets from his AR-15-style long rifle before he was stopped by at least two ‘heroic’ patrons.
Early reports suggest the gunman was wearing bulletproof armor at the time. Five people died in the shooting and 25 others were injured.
Commending the heroic action of those who tackled the gunman, Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said at a news conference Sunday morning, ‘They’re actions clearly saved lives,’ while noting that another firearm was found on the scene. The chief confirmed that five people had died and at least 25 people had been injured in the bloody incident.
FBI agents are now assisting Colorado Springs police with the investigation, which Lieutenant Pamela Castro told the media is in the preliminary stage.
They say it is too early to determine if the shooting was a targeted hate crime.
But the mass shooting has prompted even pro-gun advocate Rep. Lauren Boebert to say: ‘This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly.’
Colorado Springs police say Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q just before midnight and fired an unknown amount of bullets from his long rifle before he was stopped by at least two ‘heroic’ patrons who tackled him to the ground.
Colorado Springs police received initial reports of an active shooting at the club around 11.57pm on Saturday night. The first officers arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call.
Authorities in Colorado Springs say Anderson Aldrich had used a long rifle in the massacre, and another firearm was found at the scene
Within minutes Anderson now in protective custody, is being treated at a nearby medical facility for injuries sustained during the bloodshed.
The victims, some in critical condition, were transported to three nearby hospitals.
Images from the scene showed multiple security and emergency vehicles with flashing blinkers parked on a street near the venue. More than 30 firefighters and 11 ambulances responded to the scene, according to the Colorado Sun.
Clothes were seen strewn along the street Sunday morning, as police continued to scour the site for any evidence.
Police did not give any information on the motivation behind the attack.
Multiple emergency vehicles rush towards Colorado shooting scene
Reports from local media said the suspect, a Colorado Springs resident, was previously arrested for making a bomb threat in June 2021. The shooting comes one year after then 21-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich was arrested for making a bomb threat in Colorado Springs.
Residents of the Lorson Ranch neighborhood reported to the sheriff’s office at the time that Aldrich had a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition.
Nearly 10 homes were evacuated in the aftermath, KRDO reported at the time, but no bombs were found at the scene.
Authorities said at the time that he refused to comply with deputy’s demands to surrender, and was booked into the El Paso County Jail facing two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping.
Club Q describes itself online as an ‘adult-oriented gay and lesbian nightclub hosting theme nights such as karaoke, drag shows & DJs.’
The club was scheduled to celebrate Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday ‘with a variety of gender identities and performance styles,’ following an all-ages musical drag brunch that morning.
An online review called Club Q a ‘fun, inclusive place to hang out,’ with one visitor saying ‘everyone is so freaking kind,’ while another said that they were ‘glad to see a good queer space in Colorado Springs.’
On its Facebook page, a statement from Club Q sad it was ‘devastated by the senseless attack on our community.’
‘Our prays (sic) and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends,’ the club wrote.
‘We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.’
Frequent clubgoers posted their shock about the shooting on Facebook, with one woman writing: ‘My heart goes out to my Colorado Springs family. My Colorado Springs Drag sisters.
‘I cannot believe this is happening in a place we call a safe space we had that taken from us tonight. My heart is shattered,’ Carzsa Maestas wrote.
‘Club Q is where I started by Drag career. It’s my home bar. This is absolutely beyond devastating and I pray to God that everyone there tonight is OK.’
Joshua Thurman also told reporters on Sunday how he had been dancing on the dancefloor when he first heard shots.
‘I thought it was the music because there were no screams, no shouts of “Help, help,” nothing like that,’ he said. ‘Then there were more shots.’
‘When I realized what was going on, I ran to the dressing room immediately. There was a customer that followed me, and there was a drag performer, Delusional, who was in the dressing room. I made them lock the doors and we got down on the floor and cut out the lights immediately.
‘We heard everything, we heard more shots fired, we heard the assailant be beat up by someone who I assume tackled him, we heard the police come in, we heard them yelling at him, we heard then saying “Check certain people, ’cause they’re critical,” we heard everything and all I can think about is everything — my life, just everything, friends, family, loved ones.’
Thurman said he went to the club that night to celebrate his birthday.
Angelo Patino, 18, meanwhile, performed a drag show at the club Saturday night, but left about half an hour before the shooting.
‘I am in shock,’ he told the New York Times, noting the club ‘was my safe space.’
‘It hurts me that I could not protect my friends when they needed it,’ he said.
Another man who had left the club just 10 minutes before the shots were fired also told KRDO how he was able to connect with one of his friends who was shot at the hospital.
He told the news station that his friend described the shooter as a man wearing a mask and a bulletproof vest.
Another of his friends, though, was killed in the massacre.
‘It’s hard to hear, it’s hard to see,’ the man, only identified as Joseph, told KRDO. ‘These people at the bar, they’re friends, they’re family.’
Although the motive behind Saturday night’s shooting was not immediately known, the tragedy brought back memories of the 2016 massacre at the the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people.
A gofundme page ‘intended to raise funds for funeral expenses, medical expenses, or other expenses the families of those murdered or injured have to face’, has raised $157,636 raised of the $500,000 goal