At least five people died in the attack.
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At least five people were killed and 25 injured after a gunman opened fire inside a gay nightclub in the US state of Colorado on Saturday night.

A 22-year-old suspect named Anderson Lee Aldrich was taken into police custody and treated for injuries.

The president of the United States, Joe Bidensaid Americans “cannot and should not tolerate hate.”

“Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration must never become places of terror and violence. However, it happens all too often. We must eliminate the inequalities that contribute to the violence against LGBTQI+ people“, he claimed.

Police asked the community to be patient as they worked to identify the victims and get the full death toll, adding that some of the injured had been taken to hospital.

At 23:57 (0657 GMT) on Saturday, authorities received an initial emergency call about an armed attacker in the Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springsthey said.

The suspect was trapped inside the nightclub and two firearms were found at the crime scene; police believe the attacker used a long rifle.

Police did not suggest a motive for the shooting, but said the investigation is looking into if it was a hate crime and if more than one person was involved; the FBI collaborates with the investigation.

At least five people died in the attack.Getty Images

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez thanked the two clubgoers who intervened to arrest the shooter.

“Initial evidence and interviews indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting people inside as he moved further into the nightclub,” Vasquez said at a press conference on Sunday.

“While the suspect was inside the nightclub, at least two heroic people inside confronted and fought him, and were able to stop him from continuing to kill and harm others. We owe them a huge debt of thanks,” he added.

Club Q posted on Facebook that they were “devastated by the senseless attack” on their community and thanked “the quick reactions of the heroic patrons who took down the gunman and ended the hate attack.”

Joshua Thurman, 34, was at the dance venue at the time of the shooting.

Thurman hid in a locker room during the shooting.
Thurman hid in a locker room during the shooting.Getty Images

At first he thought the gunshots were part of the music, he told the Colorado Sun, but then he ran to take refuge in a locker room. “When I came out there were bodies on the floor, broken glass, broken glasses, people crying,” she said.

“There was nothing stopping that man from coming in to kill us. Why did this have to happen? Why? Why did people have to lose their lives?” he wondered.

Thurman, who lives near the nightclub, said the nightclub is an important part of the local gay community and he believes he knows one of the people killed.

Flowers and tributes were left at the site this Sunday.
Flowers and tributes were left at the site this Sunday.Getty Images

Colorado Springs Mayor John Soothers called the event a tragedy. “We are a strong community that has shown resilience in the face of hate and violence in the past, and we will do so again,” he said.

In 2015, three people were killed and nine injured in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood sexual health and abortion clinic in Colorado Springs.

The state of Colorado has seen other mass shootings, including at a supermarket in Boulder in 2021 that killed ten people.

Club Q nightclub is a popular hangout for the Colorado Springs LGBT community.
Club Q nightclub is a popular hangout for the Colorado Springs LGBT community.GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is gay, praised the “brave people who blocked the shooter.” And he wrote on Facebook: “Colorado stands with our LGBTQ community and all those affected by this tragedy; we are in mourning”.

In 2016, 49 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

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