Speed Reads


Club Q patrons stunned by attack on place that was 'a refuge for our community'

Vigils were held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Sunday in honor of the five people killed overnight during a shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub.

"This club was a refuge for our community," patron Bird Berg told The New York Times during a prayer vigil at St. Paul's United Methodist Church. "I'm completely devastated at how this can happen again and again."

Police said a gunman entered Club Q and opened fire shortly before midnight; a handgun and long gun with an AR-15-style platform were found at the scene. At least two "heroic" patrons stopped the shooter, grabbing his weapon and hitting him with it, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said. At least five people were killed in the attack, which took place a few hours after a drag show, and more than two were dozen injured.

The violence shocked the club's patrons, who called Club Q "the go-to place" for LGBTQ residents and others in the community. The club operated for years without reporting any threats, and "it's just always very, very welcoming no matter who or what you are," Dawn Barron told The Washington Post. Barron collaborated with Club Q on fundraisers and Pride events, and said "to have something like this is just, I can't even really wrap my brain around it."

Colorado Springs is a conservative city, resident Kourtney Berg told the Times, and Club Q was one of the only venues where members of the LGBTQ community felt safe. "To be honest, I don't see a solution to these things," she added. "Access to guns is never going to go away."

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez told reporters on Sunday night that the 22-year-old suspect, identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, has not spoken with investigators, and authorities are trying to figure out a motive. Suthers told the Times the shooting "has all the appearances of being a hate crime," but investigators are still looking through the suspect's social media posts and conducting interviews with people who know him.