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'We are devastated': Officials react to deadly mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs

22-year-old in custody after shooting; 5 dead, 19 injured at popular LGBTQ nightclub
Posted: 11:12 AM, Nov 20, 2022
Updated: 2022-11-22 23:23:25-05
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Editor's note: The number of people injured in this mass shooting changed and this story now reflects updated information as provided by the Colorado Springs Police Department at 12:47 p.m. Monday.

Editor's note: The Club Q shooting suspect identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, according to court documents filed by their defense attorneys. This article has been updated to reflect the proper pronouns.

DENVER — Officials and groups across Colorado are grieving for the five people killed and 19 others injured in an attack by a gunman on the LGBTQ bar Club Q in Colorado Springs late Saturday night.

As we work to learn more information about the 22-year-old suspect, their motive for the shooting, and more about the people whose lives were forever changed by the shooting, we will also be posting reaction from officials and groups across the state in the story below. Click here for the latest updates.

Watch officials update Colorado Springs nightclub shooting

Club Q
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis
“This is horrific, sickening, and devastating. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor Suthers and made it clear that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs. We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers
“Colorado Springs is once again in mourning after the tragic shooting at Club Q late last night. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families who are bearing the weight of this horrific tragedy.

“As indicated, there is much we are still waiting to learn about the incident, but we know one or more patrons heroically intervened to subdue the suspect, and we praise those individuals who did so because their actions saved lives. We also thank our first responders from across the Pikes Peak region who quickly responded to help those in need.

“We are a strong community that has shown resilience in the face of hate and violence in the past, and we will do that again. As a community, we will provide for the victims and witnesses of this horrific event and law enforcement will pursue this case with the zealousness that the case deserves.”

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez
“I want to express my deepest condolences to those families who have lost a loved one and those who were injured in this terribly sad and tragic shooting. I want every citizen in our city to know the men and women of the Colorado Springs Police Department stand with you during this tragedy. We are working tirelessly to ensure justice for the victims in this senseless and evil shooting.

“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ+ citizens. Every citizen has the right to be safe and secure in our city; to go about our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or treated poorly. I am so terribly saddened and heartbroken.”

President Joe Biden
"While no motive in this attack is yet clear, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing. We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history. We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color. And tragically, we saw it last night in this devastating attack by a gunman wielding a long rifle at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

"Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often. We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate.

"Today, yet another community in America has been torn apart by gun violence. More families left with an empty chair at the table and hole in their lives that cannot be filled. When will we decide we’ve had enough? We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms. Earlier this year, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, in addition to taking other historic actions. But we must do more. We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.

"Today, Jill and I are praying for the families of the five people killed in Colorado Springs last night, and for those injured in this senseless attack."

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet
“I’m devastated to hear about the shooting in Colorado Springs that cut five more lives tragically short. I’m thinking of their families and loved ones, and sending strength to those who were injured, the survivors, and Colorado’s LGBTQ community.

“As we seek justice for this unimaginable act, we must do more to protect the LGBTQ community and stand firm against discrimination and hate in every form.”

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper
"Horrendous to hear about the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. An unspeakable act. We have to protect LGBTQ lives from this hate."

"This community is paying with their lives for the rise in hate and bigotry. Even in a safe space like Club Q. We have to do more than remember the victims. We have to give people the freedom to be who they are, love who they love, and live full lives."

Rep. Doug Lamborn, who represents Colorado Springs
"I am saddened to hear of the senseless loss of life in the shooting last night. Law enforcement and first responders are to be commended for their rapid response. All people should pray for the victims and their families."

On Monday, Lamborn released a second statement:

"Now that more information has been released, let us take time to recognize the victims of the tragedy that unfolded this weekend in Colorado Springs, as well as those who acted heroically and saved the lives of others.  

"Ashley Paugh, Kelly Loving, Raymond Green, Daniel Davis Aston, and Derrick Rump lost their lives during this senseless act of violence, and will be greatly missed. Twenty-five others were injured. And it is hoped they have a speedy recovery. 

"I am grateful for the swift reaction from members of law enforcement, our first responders, and hospitals. 

"We all should continue to pray for everyone affected by this horrible situation.

"Everyone should feel safe in our community. Colorado is a wonderful place to live, and the outpouring of support for the victims' families shows just that." 

State Rep. Leslie Herod
“Waking up this morning to hear that another LGBTQ+ nightclub, this time in my hometown of Colorado Springs, was attacked by a heavily armed gunman has left me devastated and numb. I am sure fury and heartache will follow in the days to come.

“To those impacted by this hate-motivated act of violence - the victims, their friends and family - we stand with you. Whatever you need, we are here to support you.

“Last night, folks went to Club Q to be with their chosen family - a safe place to be who they truly are and find connection with others. Our bars and nightclubs are often the only place where we go to find shelter from the fear and judgment of those who wish us harm. It is not easy for members of our community to find such comforting spaces. To have it shattered by a rain of gunfire is unbearable.

“It is not an accident that such an attack took place at the end of a week when we saw members of the LGBTQ+ community targeted for who they are and who they love. From students denied entrance in schools to employees told they could not act on same-sex attraction and must conform to their biological sex, this community - my community, our community - has continued to suffer the ravages of discrimination.

“We must stop driving the hate-filled rhetoric that gives license to the dehumanization of our community. This mass murder represents just the most violent endpoint of a thousand seemingly small cuts suffered by the LGBTQ+ family. Such hate combined with laws that make access to firearms far too easy have only one result. I wish I could say it was unbelievable, but that is not the case. Instead it is all too predictable.

“I call on all elected officials, faith leaders, community leaders to put down their weapons of hate and stand together in love - love for all of God’s children.”

State Rep. Marc Snyder and Reps.-elect. Stephanie Vigil and Regina English, of Colorado Springs
“This morning, our city is reeling. We are angry at this despicable violence targeting LGBTQ Coloradans, and heartbroken for the victims’ families and their loved ones. Club Q is a place of love and acceptance where people go to be themselves and celebrate life. To see that special place turn into a site of mass devastation is traumatizing. We will be here for the long road of recovery ahead for those who were injured in, witnessed, or responded to this violent attack. We will never stop fighting for our LGBTQ neighbors' freedom and safety in our community, and we will do everything we can to ensure we come together and heal from the pain and sorrow our city is feeling today.”

Rep. Jason Crow
Horrific situation in Colorado Springs. I’m thinking of all victims & their families, & will continue monitoring the situation. These attacks must stop. My heart is with our LGBTQ+ community as we all reel from this violence.

Rep. Diana DeGette
Horrifying news out of Colorado Springs this morning. My heart goes out to everyone who lost loved ones and the entire LGBTQ+ community after last night’s attack. I stand with all those condemning this hatred and violence.

We can’t become numb to mass shootings like the one we had last night in Colorado Springs. For all the loved ones who have been lost, we must continue our fight to end gun violence — no matter how long it takes.

Rep. Joe Neguse
Devastated by the horrific news from Colorado Springs this morning and the tragic loss of life. Andrea and I are praying for the victims and their families, and we join our entire state in standing with the LGBTQ+ community during this difficult time.

Rep. Ken Buck
This is horrifying. Praying for all those affected by the tragic and senseless attack in Colorado Springs.

Colorado House Republicans
"The Colorado House Republicans are deeply saddened by the incomprehensible violence and loss of life that occurred last night at Club Q in Colorado Springs. We want all of those affected directly or indirectly in the LGBTQ community to know we mourn with them. Violence has no place in a civilized society. We are grateful to those patrons and law enforcement who risked their own safety to subdue the attacker and saved many more lives. We will overcome this tragedy and show the rest of the nation what it means to be Colorado Strong."

Assistant Colorado House Minority Leader Rep. Mike Lynch
"The Colorado House Republicans are deeply saddened by the incomprehensible violence and loss of life that occurred last night at Club Q in Colorado Springs. We want all of those affected directly or indirectly in the LGBTQ community to know we mourn with them. Violence has no place in a civilized society. We are grateful to those patrons and law enforcement who risked their own safety to subdue the attacker and saved many more lives. We will overcome this tragedy and show the rest of the nation what it means to be Colorado Strong."

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser
“Coloradans woke up this morning to news of a horrifying mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those who were killed or injured in this tragic shooting, and to the survivors who will continue to live with the trauma. Every single LGBTQ Coloradan is entitled to respect and dignity and to live their lives free and safe from harm.

"The Department of Law stands ready to assist local law enforcement and the FBI with the investigation in any way helpful. We are still learning the facts about this shooting, but what I can say is this: our words matter. Increased hateful rhetoric and demonization, especially against the LGBTQ community and particularly transgender people, is intolerable because it can lead to senseless acts of violence. We must value and affirm our LGBTQ community members and do all we can to keep them safe in Colorado and around the country.”

Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, co-founder of the Colorado LGBTQ Legislative Caucus, and Majority Caucus Co-chair Brianna Titone, chair of the Colorado LBGTQ Legislative Caucus
“We are devastated. Club Q is a safe haven for LGBTQ Coloradans, and many of us have gone there over the years seeking solidarity and community. For that sense of safety to be shattered by this unspeakable act of violence impacts the entire LGBTQ community. On Trans Day of Remembrance, we have already been grieving the hate crimes that too often claim the lives of LGBTQ people simply because of who we are. From the acts of violence that target our community every day to the horrific shooting at the Pulse Nightclub, horrible tragedies like this have happened far too often, and they need to stop now. We must take urgent and meaningful action to reduce gun violence and prevent crimes that target and kill LGBTQ people.”

4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen
"This is a tragic day for our community. Every person, regardless of who they are, have the right to be secure from fear and physical harm, and actions taken to strike fear in specific communities will not be tolerated. This is particularly true for communities that have been maligned, harassed, and targeted by persons or groups intending to intimidate, and cause harm to members of those communities.

"I commend the men and women of the Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado Springs Fire Department, and AMR for their prompt response to this senseless act of violence - an act that has taken 5 lives and injured 18 others. This act appears to have been carried out by one person, and it does not define this community.

"There is one person in custody currently, and has been identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, a 22 year-old male. If additional suspects are identified and arrested, we will share that information with the public.

"This will be a coordinated effort with representatives from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure this investigation is thorough, and the eventual prosecution effort is both fair and firm. We will work closely with our law enforcement partners, the victims, and victim family members to achieve justice in this case.

"At this stage, the DA’s office is serving in a support role as the investigation unfolds. In the coming days the case will officially transfer to my office. Our team will work closely with CSPD to determine the appropriate level of charges for all identified suspects.

"There is a natural tension in cases that receive intense public interest for information while also recognizing the need for a fair judicial process. Investigative agencies and my office will share only certain allowable information during the investigation and subsequent prosecution effort, while also being diligent in answering the need for information by our community. Please follow Twitter for updates as appropriate.

"All persons arrested and charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

FBI
“The Denver FBI Field Office, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, National Security Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Colorado are aware of the situation regarding the shooting in Colorado Springs at Club Q, and we will review all available facts of the incident to determine what federal response is warranted. The FBI is providing assistance to the Colorado Springs Police Department.”

El Paso County
We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred early this morning in Colorado Springs at Club Q. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have been lost, injured, and affected by this horrible act. We are grateful for the first responders, including local law enforcement, medical and fire personnel as well as the heroic efforts of those on scene for their quick actions that likely saved lives. We offer our condolences and support to the families and friends of the victims. We are grieving with you, offer our condolences and support, and remain committed to helping everyone impacted through this difficult time.

El Paso County Public Health
"We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred early this morning in Colorado Springs at Club. Q, and our thoughts and prayers are with all who are impacted. The Colorado Crisis Services Hotline is available 24/7: Call 1-844-493-8255, or text “TALK” to 38255."

Denver Sheriff's Department
"We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and all impacted during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families of the senseless tragedy that occurred this weekend in Colorado Springs."

One Colorado Executive Director Nadine Bridges
“There are no words that will undo the horror that continues to devastate our communities. Our safe spaces continue to become places of grief, trauma, and sorrow due to gun violence, mass shootings, and the general disrespect for our human condition. Not one more life should be taken or lost. No one should feel unsafe to celebrate or live authentically in public. I commend the Colorado Springs first responders, police department, and the courageous Club Q community who worked swiftly to stop the violence. One Colorado calls on our local, state, and federal lawmakers to go beyond statements and condolences and take swift, exacting action to ensure public safety. It is imperative to protect every single person in our communities–especially our most vulnerable, on which gun violence has taken an enormous toll. To the courageous Club Q community who experienced this nightmare - I see you, One Colorado is here for you, and your LGBTQ+ community stands with you.”

One Colorado Southern Colorado Field Organizer Stoney Bertz
“I’m in shock and heartbroken by the news that this happened in my own community here in Colorado Springs. Personally, Club Q has been a huge part of my life and, as one of the very few safe spaces for queer folks in the area, I know it has been so important to many others. It’s devastating that someone would intentionally target a safe space. My heart is with the whole city because this impacts us all. In times like this, it can feel isolating but we need to lean on each other and be in community because all we have is each other. There is a tomorrow—we just need to figure out what that looks like and how we are going to shape it together.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
“The violent news from Colorado Springs is sickening and heartbreaking - the more so because there is a pattern. We can not, will not, allow hate to win. We must end this in our time. No rest until all of us, including all of us in the LGBTQ+ community, can be, and feel, safe.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“Americans awoke this morning to horrific news: a brutal attack on an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Our hearts break at the senseless slaughter of least five beautiful souls and the many more injured or forever traumatized, at what was a sanctuary of safety and solidarity.

“The attack on Club Q, which fell on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, is despicable — further shattering the sense of safety of LGBTQ Americans across the country. While Democrats have taken important steps to combat gun violence this Congress, this deadly attack is a challenge to our conscience and a reminder that we must keep fighting to do more.

“Thank you to the heroic individuals who stopped the gunman and to the brave first responders at the scene. May it be a comfort to the loved ones of those murdered and the Colorado Springs community that all of America mourns with them during this devastating time.”

The Denver Broncos
Our hearts go out to the victims of the senseless act of violence that occurred last night in Colorado Springs. There is no place for hate, and we stand with the LGBTQ+ community and all impacted. We will hold. Moment of silence before today’s game remembering the lives lost.

Metropolitan Community Church
“It’s difficult to believe this was anything other than a hate crime,” said Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, moderator of the MCC denomination, which has more than 100 churches worldwide, including one in Colorado Springs. “We want to give law enforcement time to investigate before leaping to conclusions, but regardless of the motives this was yet another attack on the LGBTQ community. We must approach this horror united as a community – not just an LGBTQ community, but a broad and inclusive coalition of citizens who will not stand for such hatred and violence.

“It is well past time for the United States to fully grapple with its gun violence problem,” said Eggleston. “It is also disappointing that while much of the world has moved on, politicians in the U.S. continue to engage in ‘culture wars’ that vilify and endanger LGBTQ citizens. Our denomination and our churches around the world stand for peace, inclusion, acceptance, and Christ-like grace that is far too absent in too many places."