Hate fueled massacre at Colorado Springs LGBTQ club

Hate fueled massacre at Colorado Springs LGBTQ club

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who entered Club Q in Colorado Springs (Colorado) armed to the teeth on Saturday night, went with the clear objective of killing members of the LGBTQ community. Hate marked his action in which he killed five people and injured at least 25. Thirteen were still hospitalized this Monday.

According to court documents, a Colorado court charged Aldrich with five murders and as many hate crime charges, city spokesman Max D’Onofrio stressed. His attack sought to cause maximum damage, which was only mitigated by the action of some heroic clients who risked their lives, and was motivated by his prejudice towards this community. D’Onofrio pointed out that the defendant is still in custody at a hospital and that the charges could vary, to become more serious, when he appears before a judge.

In the United States there were more than 7,700 hate crimes in 2020

Until last Saturday, Club Q had been a safe haven and fun place for homosexuals for 20 years. The detainee entered with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, with several additional chargers, and a pistol. The prosecutor asked the judge to keep the summary secret “so as not to jeopardize the ongoing investigation”, an issue that the magistrate granted. One of the main tasks focuses on the work of the alleged perpetrator on social networks.

In the United States, reported the CNN, more than 7,700 hate crimes were registered in 2020, the highest number since 2008, in a trend that is still on the rise. 62% of these cases are due to race or ethnicity, while sexual orientation, like this tragedy, represents 20%.

FBI agents at the entrance to the Q Club in Colorado Springs

REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

That investigation should also provide an explanation for why Aldrich did not sound all the alarms and his weapons were not seized in 2021 when he was arrested. He was arrested after his mother informed the police that his son had threatened to blow up a homemade bomb at his home. As a precaution, a dozen houses in the area were evicted.

Although no explosives were found in the end, the defenders of the imposition of greater arms control denounced that the so-called “red flag” law was not applied, which would have allowed them to take away the weapons that the mother assured that he had. There are also no public documents in which the prosecution sought to charge the suspect.

Investigators believe no one else is involved.

Neither the detainee nor the family had cooperated in the investigation of the shooting at the Colorado Spring location until Monday. On its Facebook page, Club Q gave thanks “for the quick reaction of heroic customers who subdued the gunman and put an end to the hate attack.”

Aldrich opened fire as soon as he entered, but in less than a minute he was appeased by a customer who took his gun and hit him with it. At least others cooperated in that effort to reduce it. When the police arrived, that first client was still on top of the assailant, preventing him from moving. Investigators believe that no one else is involved, nor that the gunman will have accomplices for his crime.

Two women laying a bouquet of flowers in memory of those who died at

People laying bouquets of flowers in memory of those who died in Colorado Springs

Getty Images via AFP

This case is reminiscent of the Orlando Pulse club massacre in June 2015, where 49 people were killed. Since then, at Club Q they took their safety precautions. The Pulse had also been considered a safe place when a suspected radical Islamist broke in. One of the owners of Club Q recalled that they organized a vigil for the Orlando tragedy, in honor of its victims, without suspecting that years later the vigil would be for themselves.