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the shooter subdued by “heroic” customers and arrested

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A 22 year old man ” entered “ at an LGBTQ nightclub “and immediately started shooting”killing at least five people, before being overpowered by patrons “heroic”on the night of Saturday November 19 to Sunday November 20 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States.

Eighteen people were injured in the shooting, which occurred shortly before midnight, police said, saying some of the injured were in critical condition.

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The establishment, which bears the name of Club Q, thanked Sunday on Facebook “the heroic customers who subdued the shooter and put an end to this hateful attack”.

Facebook – Club Q Colorado Springs

At least two firearms were found at the scene. “I can confirm that the suspect used a rifle”, Colorado Springs City Police Deputy Chief Adrian Vasquez said. He “came into the box and immediately started shooting”he said at a press conference.

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Authorities have identified the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, who has been arrested and taken to hospital. Adrian Vasquez clarified that“at least two heroic people in the box confronted him and fought with the suspect. They succeeded in preventing him from continuing to kill and injure..

Authorities have given no indication of the possible motive for the attack attributed to Anderson Lee Aldrich. A 21-year-old man of the same name threatened his mother with a pipe bomb and multiple weapons last year in a town a 30-minute drive from Colorado Springs, the El County Sheriff’s Office reported. Paso, which includes the city.

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“So terrifying”

Joshua Thurman, who was in the nightclub, said there was “bodies on the ground. There were shards of glass, broken cups, people were crying”. “It was terrifying”he told reporters on Sunday.

“It was supposed to be our refuge […]. Where are we supposed to go? » This resident of Colorado Springs was “on the dance floor when he heard the shots” and had managed to take shelter in the locker room.

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Coming to Club Q for the first time that evening, Aeron Laney, 24, described a small nightclub “where everyone was having a good time, smiling and laughing”. “I can’t understand how someone could walk in and see people so happy and comfortable in their community, and want to end this”she said, tearful, to AFP.

She and her friend Justin Godwin had left the scene minutes before the shooter appeared. “Perhaps he was already there? In the parking lot…planning this”launched the young man of 25 years. ” It’s terrifying. »

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“We must not tolerate hatred”

Club Q, which announced an LGBT event on Saturday, an evening “with all kinds of gender and number identities” on the occasion of Transgender Day of Remembrance, celebrated internationally on November 20, said “shattered by this senseless attack on our community”.

Michael Anderson, who worked at the bar, “Can’t stop thinking about the images from the evening, the bodies, the blood, the broken glass, the carnage and debris, and watching a safe haven turn into a war zone”he said on CBS.

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“We must not tolerate hatred”President Joe Biden reacted from Washington, while Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor elected in the United States, declared himself “horrified and devastated”.

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This new drama is part of a context of resurgence of acts hostile to transgender people, according to statistics from associations and the federal police (FBI). On June 12, 2016, an American of Afghan origin, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and injured around 50 others in a gay club in Orlando, Florida.

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The killing also illustrates the soaring mortality linked to firearms in a country where they circulate in very large numbers. With this tragedy, 601 mass shootings have been recorded in the United States since the beginning of 2022, according to the organization Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting from four dead or wounded by bullet – not counting the shooter.

Any attempt at truly binding legislation comes up against the very powerful lobbying of the National Rifle Association, which has strong parliamentary leverage.

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