Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated throughout the day with new information.
A gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub and opened fire, killing five people and wounding 25, Saturday night in Colorado. The gunman is in police custody.
Although the motive for the shooting is not yet known, the attack at Club Q in Colorado Springs coincides with Rise in anti-LGBTQ speech, legislation, harassment, and violence in the United States.
At least two of the club’s patrons confronted the attacker, who was armed with a long gun and at least one other firearm, and managed to subdue him, he said. Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez. He said, “We owe them a great thanks.”
The victims have not yet been publicly identified. Among the 25 wounded, many of them are in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds. According to NBC. Others were apparently injured as they fled the scene. The attacker is treated for injuries, Although Lt. “Pamela Castro” of the Colorado Springs Police Department said You didn’t know the consequences of those injuries. The suspect was arrested by L He threatens his mother with a bomb and other weapons in June last year, according to NBC News. Although the outcome of this case is unclear, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office for the 4th Judicial District of Colorado told NBC that the bomb threat is “part of the investigation at this time.”
Police received a call at 11:57 p.m describing the shooting and was on the scene within five minutes, according to Castro. The State Department said Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the incident News agencyand the The FBI offered help to the Colorado Springs Police Department for an investigation.
The nightclub wrote: “Club Q has been devastated by the senseless attack on our community.” in a Facebook post. Our prayers [sic] And thoughts are with all the victims, their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of the heroic agents who subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
The authorities did not Description of the attack hate crime; This charge depends on the attacker’s motive and whether the crime was committed “on the basis of at least the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.” at the national level. Colorado Law It states that bias should only be part of the attacker’s motivation and specifically Defines sexuality but not gender identity as a classification of hate crimes.
Club Q’s Facebook page announced a punk drag show and birthday party on Saturday night; Del Lusional drag queenwho performed that evening, described the experience on Twitter, “I never thought this would happen to me and my pub bar. I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t stop hearing the shots.”
The shooter was the one who carried out the attack the night before via Memorial Dayan annual commemoration of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people killed in anti-transgender attacks.
The attack echoes recent incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence
It also follows several Attacks on LGBTQ individuals and institutions Over the past several years, including a spate of attacks in the summer of 2021 on gay and non-binary people near Brooklyn, New York bar Happyfun Hideaway. In April, a man set fire to Bushwick’s other gay bar, the Rush.
The Colorado Springs attack has echoes of the Nightclub shooting pulse In Orlando, Florida, a shooter who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group entered the club on its Latin night and went on a rampage killing 49 people and wounding 53. The 2016 shooting is the deadliest attack on LGBT people in US history. At the time, it was also the deadliest mass shooting in the country.
President Joe Biden tweeted statement about the shooting Sunday afternoon, saying, “Jill and I are praying for the families of the five people who were killed in Colorado Springs, and for those injured in this senseless attack.” Biden also acknowledged the stigma and challenges LGBT people still face, As well as advocating for restrictions on firearms.
Jill and I are praying for the families of the five people who were killed in Colorado Springs, and for those injured in this senseless attack.
Although the motive for this attack is not clear, we do know that gun violence has a particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation.
– President Biden (POTUS) November 20, 2022
Colorado in particular Witnessed many mass shootings in the past 25 years, starting with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Nationally, lawmakers have failed to curb the spread of an epidemic Mass shooting, despite its intensity and constant fight. Mass shootings at schools including Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, and most recently Rob Elementary School In Uvalde, Texas, it took the lives of dozens of teens and young children.
LGBT rights are at stake in the current political climate
Republicans have stepped up anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric in recent years, particularly against transgender people. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law earlier this year Public school teachers are prohibited from discussing gender identity or sexuality with students in Kindergarten through third grade, the law reads, “or in a manner that is inappropriate for the age or developmentally appropriate for students according to state standards.”
DeSantis also approved a measure preventing Medicaid patients from using the service to access gender-affirming health care. This legislation will affect more than 9,000 trans Florida residents who use Medicaid as their primary health insurance, according to a statement from Human Rights Campaign.
in texas, Republican legislators It has pursued policies targeting trans children, most notably targeting parents who provide their children with gender-affirming care. In March, Texas Governor Greg Abbott Issued guidance to state health agencies Consider gender affirming care “child abuse” and require teachers and health care providers to report parents seeking such care to the Department of Family and Protective Services. This policy Unlike medical science.
More broadly, Republican Legislators in multiple states They have restricted or attempted to restrict the rights of LGBT people, which Democrats and LGBTQ advocates say heralds a potential national rollback.
To this end, the Senate, including 12 Republicans, He voted in favor of promoting respect for marriage law, which would protect the marriages of LGBT couples and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The amended bill will return to the House for a vote before final approval by the Senate, likely after the Thanksgiving holiday.