Suspect named after five people killed in horrifying mass shooting at gay nightclub

Emergency services arrive at the scene after a mass shooting at a gay bar in Colorado Springs

Colorado police have identified the man they say is responsible for the death of five people after a horrifying mass shooting in a gay nightclub.

Anderson Lee Aldrich allegedly walked into Club Q in Colorado Springs a little before midnight on Saturday (19 November) and began shooting patrons with a long gun almost immediately.

The 22-year-old was eventually subdued by two people inside the club, according to police, and is being treated at a nearby medical facility for injuries sustained during the bloodshed.

Colorado Springs police chief Adrian Vasquez confirmed during a news conference on Sunday (20 November) that five people had died and at least 18 people had been injured in the bloody incident.

The shooting took place during a drag event hosted by local performer Del Lusional, who tweeted that they “never thought this would happen to me and my bar”.

“I don’t know what to do with myself,” they added. “I can’t stop hearing the shots.

“This doesn’t feel real. Like at all. I hate this so much. I hate this so f**king much.”

A motive has not yet been confirmed by police.

Anderson Lee Aldrich reportedly faced off with Colorado Springs police in June 2021 after reports he had a homemade bomb, weapons and ammunition.

Club Q mass shooting was a ‘senseless attack on LGBTQ+ community’

Club Q describes itself as an “adult-oriented gay and lesbian nightclub hosting theme nights such as karaoke, drag shows and DJs”.

In a statement shared on social media, Club Q said it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community”.

“Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends,” the statement continued.

“We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

The incident – the 27th mass shooting to take place in the US in November alone – occurred on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed annually to honour the memory of trans people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-trans violence.

It comes back as LGBTQ+ lives are becoming increasingly under attack in the US. White supremacist and Christian fundamentalists protesting family-friendly drag shows have become common sight, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been filled in 2022 alone with the intention of stripping back the rights of trans people, and just this week disgraced ex-president Donald Trump launched his 2024 presidential bid with an unhinged attack on trans people.

Tributes have poured in from across the world since people began waking up to the news of the senseless loss of life, including from former presidential candidate and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren.

“My heart goes out to all the families and loved ones of those lost and hurt,” she said. “Hateful acts against LGBTQ+ people cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Robert Garcia, who made history earlier this month as the first gay immigrant to be elected to Congress, called out right-wing, anti-LGBTQ+ politician Lauren Boebert for sharing her own tribute.

“Heartbroken about the growing hate against trans people and anti-LGBTQ+ violence,” he said. “This mass shooting in Colorado is horrific and devastating.

“And I am furious that members of Congress like Boebert have the f**king audacity to say anything when they spread this hate constantly.”

Boebert sparked backlash by tweeting a limp acknowledgement of the Club Q mass shooting, failing to mention it had taken place in a queer space or that LGBTQ+ people had been effected.