What we know so far about the Colorado Springs shooting

Updated November 21, 2022 at 7:53 p.m. ET

Police are continuing their investigation after a gunman killed five people and injured 18 others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado late Saturday.

17 people were injured by shots, another victim suffered further injuries, the police said on Monday afternoon.

At least one other person and likely many others were victims with no visible injuries, police said. The police previously spoke of 25 injuries.

Police released the names of those killed Monday: Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Raymond Green Vance, Derrick Rump and Ashley Green Paugh.

Three victims are in stable condition at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, the CEO said Monday.

Officials have identified Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, as a suspect. He was taken into custody shortly after arriving at Club Q and has been receiving treatment at a local hospital since Monday afternoon.

The court records for the case have now been sealed. Colorado Springs District Attorney Michael Allen said Monday afternoon that no formal charges had been filed. He said the investigation was still active and the charges would be brought in a timely manner.

The attack comes six years after the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in modern US history, when a gunman killed 49 and injured 53 others at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Here’s what we know about the Colorado Springs shooting.

Two patrons overpowered the shooter

Police officers walk through the parking lot of Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub, in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday.

Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images

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AFP via Getty Images

Police officers walk through the parking lot of Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub, in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said the gunman started shooting as soon as he entered the nightclub.

According to authorities, two patrons, Richard Fierro and Thomas James, helped subdue the shooter, which the chief described as heroic.

“We owe them a great debt of gratitude,” he said at a news conference on Sunday.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told NPR that one of the guests “got the gun off the [shooter] and hit him with the pistol to incapacitate him.”

Club Q wrote on Facebook that the guests’ “quick responses” helped stop what they described as a hate attack and prevented more people from being killed or injured.

Police said the first call came in at 11:57 p.m. local time, with the first officer arriving three minutes later. The suspect was taken into custody at 00:02 MT.

Vasquez said the shooter was carrying an AR-style long gun and several magazines of ammunition.

“It speaks to the preparation he made before he joined this club,” Vasquez told NPR’s Rachel Martin morning edition.

Club Q is a safe haven for Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ community

Opened in 2002, Club Q provides the Colorado Springs area with drag shows, karaoke and dance parties for those 18 and older.

Both Vasquez and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the club a “safe haven” for Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ residents.

“Club Q has been a safe haven for the LGBTQ community in an area where it hasn’t always been easy,” Polis, who became the first openly gay governor in the United States in 2018, said at a Sunday service. “It’s a place where we can gather, dance and share the joy.”

Jessy Smith Cruz hugs Jadzia Dax McClendon Sunday morning after a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images

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AFP via Getty Images

Jessy Smith Cruz hugs Jadzia Dax McClendon the morning after a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs Police Lt. Pamela Castro said the department was shocked by the attack as the nightclub had not been a hot spot for the city.

Club Q has announced that it will remain closed until further notice.

The shooting took place on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance

The shooter targeted the club on the night before Transgender Memorial Day, held annually on November 20 to honor victims of anti-trans violence.

Memorial Day began in 1999 when LGBTQ advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith helped organize a vigil for Massachusetts transgender women Rita Hester and Chanelle Pickett. Both were women of color.

Among those fatally shot on Saturday was Daniel Aston, 28, a transgender man who was a bartender and a frequent performer at Club Q. Aston loved the music and hats of the 1980s, his mother told Colorado Public Radio.

She admitted that in the past she has often worried about her son being targeted for being transgender.

“I’ve always worried about that,” she said. “He’s a trans man and the trans community are really the biggest goals I can think of right now.”

Though the investigation is still in its early stages, Vasquez said it hadn’t escaped his notice that the shooting took place at an LGBTQ nightclub and on the eve of Transgender Memorial Day. He added that these details are taken seriously.

“I think there’s still a lot of work to be done before we can come to that decision,” he said when asked if the shooting was a hate crime. “But it certainly feels like it.”

Flowers and a sign that says "love over hate" was near an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday, where a shooting took place late Saturday night.

Geneva Heffernan / AP

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AP

Flowers and a sign that read “Love over Hate” lay Sunday near an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where a shooting took place late Saturday night.

Biden and lawmakers are responding and condemning LGBTQ hate crimes

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., expressed his dismay at hearing the news of the shooting in his state and called for more protection and support for the 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 hatred in all forms,” ​​he wrote on Twitter Sunday.

President Biden said in a statement, “There is no place in America for violence, hatred and bigotry. But tragically, as last night’s attack in Colorado Springs reminds us, too many LGBTQI+ people in the United States — and around the world — continue to face unscrupulous attacks.”

Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill stalled in the Senate after passing the House of Representatives in February 2021.

In June, Biden signed the first major gun safety law passed by Congress in nearly 30 years, a month after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults. The legislation extended background checks to people between the ages of 18 and 21 who want to buy a gun and expanded an existing law that bans those convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun.

But he said more needs to be done.

“We must enact an assault weapons ban to remove weapons of war from America’s streets,” Biden said in a White House press release.

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