COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (TCD) -- A 22-year-old man is in custody after allegedly entering a LGBTQ nightclub with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and opening fire, killing at least five and injuring 25.
In a press conference, the Colorado Springs Police Department said they responded to Club Q on Saturday, Nov. 19, shortly before midnight. Before officers’ arrival, the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, was subdued by patrons, The Associated Press reports.
After the suspect opened fire, a patron at the nightclub allegedly grabbed a handgun from Aldrich, hit him with it, and pinned him down. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody and reportedly transported to a hospital to treat his injuries.
According to KKTV-TV, police recovered two firearms from the scene, including what they described as a "long rifle."
The Associated Press reports that Club Q called the shooting a "hate attack." Aldrich reportedly faces multiple charges, including murder and committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.
A relative told The Denver Gazette that the suspect is the grandson of Randy Voepel, a representative for California’s 71st Assembly District, in San Diego and Riverside counties.
According to The Associated Press, the suspect had previously been arrested after allegedly threatening his mother with a homemade bomb and other weapons in 2021. However, prosecutors reportedly did not pursue any charges.
In a statement obtained by KKTV, Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor in the United States, said, "This is horrific, sickening, and devastating. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor Suthers and made it clear that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs."
Polis continued, "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. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together."
In a news release, District Attorney Michael J. Allen said, "Every person, regardless of who they are, have the right to be secure from fear and physical harm, and actions taken to strike fear in specific communities will not be tolerated. This is particularly true for communities that have been maligned, harassed, and targeted by persons or groups intending to intimidate, and cause harm to members of those communities."