Tributes pour in after five killed in mass shooting at gay bar: ‘We have to protect LGBTQ+ lives’

A screenshot of the police outside Club Q in Colorado Springs.

Tributes from across the world have poured in after five people were killed and 18 injured at a gay bar in Colorado Springs.

Police confirmed that it responded to numerous 911 calls at the LGBTQ+ bar Club Q on Saturday (19 November) and that a suspect is “being treated, but is in custody”.

While police have not explicitly stated a motive, authorities have clarified that investigations into the shooting are currently underway.

In a statement, Club Q said it was “devastated” by the attack, adding that “our thoughts and prayers are with victims and their families”.

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

Amid surfacing reports of the shooting, several members of the public, organisations, and politicians showed their support for those affected by the incident.

Colorado US senator John Hickenlooper said: “Horrendous to hear about the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. An unspeakable act.

“We have to protect LGBTQ+ lives from this hate.”

Denver mayor candidate Leslie Herod added: “Club Q is a place of refuge for so many, including myself. I am both devastated and infuriated.”

There have been a reported 27 mass shootings in the US in November alone and at least 601 in 2022 at the time of reporting.

Author John Pavlovitz, upset at the epidemic of US gun-related violence, said: “I am going to spend today mourning that Sandy Hook wasn’t enough, that Charleston wasn’t, Colorado Springs wasn’t, Orlando wasn’t, Parkland wasn’t, that Uvalde wasn’t enough to move you.

“No amount of death will. You love guns more than people.”

Additionally, LGBTQ-supportive groups from the US and beyond expressed their sympathies for the victims of the shooting.

Several commented on the fact that the shooting took place the day before the Trans Day of Remembrance, in which LGBTQ+ activists mourn the loss of trans lives due to hate crimes each year.

Trans advocacy group LGBWithTheT said: “We break our days silence for a moment, to bring the sad news that members of the LBGTQ+ community have been killed in a shooting at a gay club in Colorado Springs.

“Our love and support goes out to all friends and family of those who sadly passed away.”

London’s iconic queer venue Royal Vauxhall Tavern said that the repeated attacks against the LGBTQ+ community “should not be happening”.

Gun violence activist Shannon Watts said: “The Colorado Springs mass shooting is a tragic reminder that homophobic and transphobic rhetoric coupled with weak gun laws enable terrorist attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.

“10,300 hate crimes involve a gun each year, 20 per cent of which target LGBTQ+ people.