COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police say 5 people are dead and 18 injured after a nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs late Saturday night.
The shooting was reported just before midnight at Club Q, a gay and lesbian nightclub.
A suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, a 22-year-old male, was taken into custody at the club, Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said at an 8 a.m. press conference. At least two firearms were recovered from the scene.
“At least two heroic people confronted and stopped the suspect,” Vasquez said, before police took Aldridge into custody. Whether of not the attack was a hate crime is part of the investigation, officials said.
Colorado Springs police spokeswoman Lt. Pamela Castro told reporters that a call for an active shooting came in at 11:56 p.m. The first officer arrived in the area at 12:00 a.m., and the suspect was taken into custody at 12:02 a.m, Castro said at an 8 a.m. briefing.
Responding officers entered the club and immediately located the suspected gunman inside, Castro said. Aldridge was taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries.
"We know one or more patrons heroically intervened to subdue the subject. Those patrons clearly saved lives," said Mayor John Suthers at the morning press conference.
“Colorado Springs is once again in mourning," Suthers added. "We are a strong community that has shown resilience in the face of hate and violence in the past, and we will do so again."
Colorado Springs Fire Department spokesman Capt. Mike Smaldino said during an earlier news conference that 34 firefighters and 11 ambulances responded to assist.
The FBI is on also scene and is assisting in the investigation, Castro said.
Investigators have not released a motive for the crime.
The attack is the sixth mass killing in the United State this month.
Club Q released a statement on its Facebook page early Sunday morning labeling the shootings a "hate attack."
"Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community," the Facebook post read. "Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack."
Ten patients wounded in shooting are being treated at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, 4th Judicial District Attorney Mike Allen said at the morning press conference. Penrose Hospital was treating seven of the victims and Memorial North two.
Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., called the attack as “an unspeakable act” and said it was “horrendous” to learn what happened.
“We have to protect LGBTQ lives from this hate,” wrote Hickenlooper, who is also the former governor of Colorado.
Club Q was preparing to host a brunch event on Sunday in celebration of Transgender Day of Remembrance, according to a post on its Facebook page.
The nightclub also had plans to throw a “Friendsgiving Dinner,” according to another post on its Facebook page.
This is not the first mass shooting in Colorado Springs.
In November 2015, three people were killed and eight wounded at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city. Robert Lewis Dear Jr. opened fire because he wanted to wage “war” on the clinic because it performed abortions.
A gunman killed six members of an extended family Sunday at a birthday party at a mobile home in Colorado Springs on May 9, 2021, before turning the gun on himself in what was the fourth deadliest mass shooting in state history, tied for the deadliest mass murder in the city's history.
America’s LGBTQ clubs and bars have been targeted in other recent attacks. In 2016, a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 others at Pulse, a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.