At least five people have been killed after a 22-year-old shooter entered a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs and started shooting immediately.
Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez says two firearms were found at the scene. The gunman was taken into custody around five minutes after police first received a call about the shooting at Club Q.
Vasquez says two heroic patrons confronted the gunman and stopped the shooting.
“We owe them a great debt of thanks,” the chief said.
The violence is the sixth mass killing this month and comes in a year when the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected governor in 2018, said the news was “sickening.”.
“My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor (John) Suthers and clarified that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs,” Polis said. “Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn.”
Although a motive in the shooting wasn’t yet clear, nor were the gender identities of the victims, the incident came as anti-gay rhetoric has intensified by extremists. In a statement, Club Q termed the shooting a hate attack.
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club posted on its Facebook page. It said its prayers were with victims and families, adding: “We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”