This story has been updated to reflect recent developments.
Five people are dead and at least 25 injured after a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
The suspect opened fire inside Club Q, a popular LGBTQ+ venue, just before midnight on Saturday. He was confronted and stopped by club patrons, according to Colorado Springs police.
The suspect, who has been identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is in police custody and being treated for injuries. He was arrested on five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of hate-based crimes although formal charges haven’t been filed.
The attack took place just minutes before Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” representatives said in a statement posted to Facebook following the attack. “Our [prayers] and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends.”
The statement continued, thanking “the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
The attack is the second committed against patrons of an LGBTQ+ nightclub in just over six years. In 2016, a gunman opened fire at Pulse in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding over 50.
According to officials, Aldrich used a long rifle in Saturday’s attack. Two additional firearms were also recovered at the scene.
Although police are still investigating the suspect, two officials did confirm to CNN that Aldrich had previously been arrested in June 2021 following a bomb threat he allegedly made while in his mother’s house. He surrendered to police after an hours’-long standoff. No bombs or explosive devices were found on the scene.
While the motive for Saturday’s crime is still under investigation, Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings said in a statement released over the weekend, “We mourn with the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs for the lives taken and those wounded in this act of hate.”
He continued, “America’s toxic mix of bigotry and absurdly easy access to firearms means that such events are all too common and LGBTQ+ people, BIPOC communities, the Jewish community and other vulnerable populations pay the price again and again for our political leadership’s failure to act.
“We must stand together to demand meaningful action before yet another tragedy strikes our nation.”