A shooting at a nightclub in Colorado Springs resulted in five fatalities over the weekend.
A 22-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with five counts of murder and five counts of charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. Anderson Lee Aldrich reportedly targeted Club Q – a venue open to adults over the age of 18 – because its patrons are gay men or lesbians.
Law enforcement received a call about the attack just before midnight on Nov. 19. Aldrich had entered the club with a long gun and immediately opened fire.
While speaking with the media, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the suspect was “extremely well armed” and had “considerable ammo.”
Aldrich was previously arrested in June of 2021 after his mother called the police saying her son was threatening to hurt her with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition,” according to a report from the El Paso County Sherriff’s Department. He was charged with 2 counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping. Aldrich was ultimately not prosecuted after his mother refused to work with investigators.
The suspect was taken into police custody minutes after law enforcement arrived at Club Q.
In addition to those killed at the club, 18 people were injured in the shooting. Seven of those people are said to be in critical condition.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered flags be flown at half-staff at all public buildings in the state “to honor and remember the victims of the horrific shooting.” His administration is also flying the gay pride flag at the state capitol for five days beginning on Nov. 21.
“This is horrific, sickening, and devastating. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” Polis said in his statement on Nov. 20.
The governor said “every state resource” would be made accessible to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly assisting in the investigation.
“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,” Polis concluded. “Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”
Club Q called the shooting a “senseless attack.”
“We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack,” the venue wrote on Facebook.
Nic Grzecka, who owns Club Q, said the venue activated its active shooter protocols during the attack. Grzecka said the protocols were created after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida in 2016.