February 3, 2023

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Clubgoers stopped the gunman who killed five at the Colorado Springs gay nightclub

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©Reuters. A police officer raises police tape in his vehicle while responding to a mass shooting at Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States, November 20, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt 2/3

By Kevin Mohatt

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) – “Heroic” clubgoers fought and stopped a gunman shortly after he opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring 18 others, police said on Sunday .

Police identified the suspect as Anderson Lee Aldrich, a 22-year-old man who was taken into custody minutes after the shooting broke out and was being treated for injuries at Club Q following the attack.

Club Q, which bills itself as an adult-oriented gay and lesbian nightclub, described Saturday night’s events as a “hate attack” in a statement on its Facebook page (NASDAQ:). Authorities said they were investigating whether the attack was motivated by hate.

Two firearms were found at the scene, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said at a news conference Sunday morning, adding the suspect used a long rifle during the shooting spree.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is openly gay, praised the “brave individuals who blocked the shooter” in a statement posted to Twitter, calling the shooting “terrifying, disgusting and devastating.”

Police said the first call about the shooting was received just before midnight and the suspect was arrested within minutes.

Images of the scene after the shooting showed security and emergency vehicles, with their turn signals flashing, parked on a street near the venue.

As of 4 a.m. local time (1100 GMT), police had cordoned off the area around the club, which is located in a mall on the outskirts of Colorado Springs.

In 2016, a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before being shot dead by police. It was the worst mass shooting in recent US history, until a gunman killed 60 people at a Las Vegas music festival in 2017.