Police seek motive after gunman kills 5 at Colorado gay nightclub

Authorities were looking for a motive in the attack on a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Monday that killed five and wounded more than 20.

The gunman, identified by police as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, opened fire at Club Q in Colorado Springs just before midnight Saturday, police said. He was quickly taken into custody when police arrived minutes after receiving a call, authorities said.

While the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, officials have said little about the motive or why Club Q was attacked.

“At least two heroic people” confronted the gunman and stopped the shooting, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said, adding, “We owe them a great debt of gratitude.”

One of the people in the bar took the gunman and hit him with it, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said in an interview with CNN.

Suthers called it an “incredible act of heroism”.

Of the 25 injured, 19 had gunshot wounds, Suthers said. None of these are “considered to be really critical,” the mayor said.

A patron at the bar told local broadcaster KRDO-TV Channel 13: “As I was dancing on the dance floor, I heard gunshots. I thought it was the music because there was no screaming. There was no ‘help, help’.”

Realizing what was going on, he ran into a dressing room, where he and others locked the door, turned off the light, and got on the floor.

“We heard everything. We heard more shots. We heard the attacker being beaten up by someone I assume attacked him. We heard the police come in, we heard them yell at him,” the patron said.

“All I could think about is everything, my life,” he said before breaking down in tears.

Keoni Moore, 20, who identifies as non-binary, is a DJ who worked at Club Q before recently moving to another club across the street.

He was at work Saturday night and realized something was terribly wrong when he heard sirens and saw ambulances arriving at Club Q.

“Who’s in there? who comes out Who am I not going to see anymore?” he wondered.

On Sunday afternoon he had heard that two friends and former employees had been killed.

He said they were warm, welcoming and fun – and helped make Club Q what it was.

“It was very welcoming,” he said. “Every time you walked in, whether you were new or you’d been there that long, there was never an overbearing feeling of not belonging.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first gay man to be elected governor in the United States in 2018, said, “My heart breaks for the family and friends of those who were lost, injured and traumatized in this horrific shooting.”

The shooter used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon in the shooting, the Associated Press reported. A handgun and ammunition magazines were also secured at the scene, authorities said.

Polis ordered all flags to be flown at all public buildings in Colorado at half-manned hours for five days beginning at sunrise Monday through sunset Saturday to honor each of the five victims who died in the tragedy.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-11-21/colorado-gay-nightclub-shooting-motive Police seek motive after gunman kills 5 at Colorado gay nightclub

Alley Einstein

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