Police reported on Sunday that a 22-year-old gunman opened fire in a nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, before being confronted and stopped by patrons. He killed at least five people and injured 25 others before being stopped, according to police.
According to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, the suspect in the shooting at Club Q was Anderson Lee Aldrich. He used a long rifle, and two firearms were found at the scene.
A group of people inside the club fought off the gunman and prevented further violence, Vasquez said. “We are indebted to them,” Vasquez added.
In the club, Joshua Thurman heard gunshots and saw a muzzle flash while dancing.
“I thought it was the music, so I kept dancing,” he said. “Then I heard another set of shots, and I went to the dressing room and got on the ground, called the police, and locked the doors.”
In addition to hearing gunshots, Thurman heard people crying and windows shattered. When he emerged, he saw bodies laying on the ground, broken glass and blood.
Several 911 calls were received by police at 11:56 p.m., officers were dispatched at 11:57 p.m., an officer arrived at midnight, and the suspect was arrested at 12:02 a.m. Police said 39 patrol officers responded, and 11 ambulances responded, according to Fire Department Captain Mike Smaldino.
Of the 25 injured, several are in critical condition with gunshot wounds, although the exact number is unclear, authorities said.
According to police, the suspect is being treated at a hospital. He was not shot at by officers.
Club Q’s relationship with the Gay community was noted by police as they investigated whether the attack was a hate crime.
“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.”
Club Q posted a statement on social media expressing its sorrow at the senseless attack on its community and thanking “the heroic actions of its customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
There have been a number of tragic mass shootings in Colorado over the years, including the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting. Three people were killed in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood in November 2015, while six people were killed at a birthday party last year.