Gunman kills 5 at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs before patrons confront and stop him


Jessy Smith Cruz embraces Jadzia Dax McClendon the morning after a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday, November 20. [Jason Connolly AFP | Getty Images]

A 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just before midnight Saturday and immediately opened fire, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others, before patrons confronted and stopped him, police said Sunday.


The suspect in the shooting at Club Q was identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. He used a long rifle in the shooting, and two firearms were found at the scene, Vasquez said.


At least two people inside the club confronted and fought the gunman and prevented further violence, Vasquez said. “We owe them a great debt of thanks,” he said.


Bouquets of flowers and a sign reading "Love Over Hate" are left near Club Q on November 20. [Jason Connolly AFP | Getty Images]

Police said they were investigating whether the attack was a hate crime and noted Club Q’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.


“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens,” Vasquez said. “Every citizen has a right to feel safe and secure in our city, to go about our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or treated poorly.”