Sunday, November 27, 2022

Colorado Springs Mayor: Club Q shooting has ‘all the trappings’ of hate crimes

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Nov 21 (News) — Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said Monday that the fatal shooting at Club Q nightclub had “all the trappings of a hate crime.”

In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Suthers added the motive for the shooting – which left five people dead and 25 others injured at the LGBTQ nightclub, and is still under investigation.

“We have to look at social media. We have to look at all sorts of other information we’re gathering from people who knew the person before we can make any definitive conclusions about a motivation,” Suthers said.

“But like I said, it certainly has the trappings of a hate crime.”

Suthers’ comments came as it was revealed that a man of the same name and age as the suspect behind the nightclub attack, Anderson Lee Aldrich, had previously been identified as the suspect behind a 2021 bomb threat.

Suthers said Colorado law prevented him from confirming that the suspects in the two cases were the same person.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that no formal charges were filed in the bomb threat case.

“I think the district attorney is going to make some motions in court today that will allow law enforcement to talk more about that person’s criminal record,” Suthers said.

Michael Allen, the local district attorney, told the New York Times on Sunday that the Club Q shooting may have been a hate crime and “is being investigated in that lens.”

Suthers said Sunday that the actions of Club Q’s patrons during the shooting “clearly saved lives,” the New York Times reported.

At least two “heroic people” at the club “confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and injure others,” Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said Sunday.

Club Q management also praised the heroic actions of its guests in a statement on Sunday.

“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prayers and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends,” the venue said.

“Thank you to the quick responses of heroic customers who overwhelmed the shooter and ended this hate attack.”

Dozens of people gathered for a small prayer vigil at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church near Club Q on Sunday, where they lit candles and hugged.

Rev. David Petty, the church’s pastor, also recited a meditation he wrote after a gunman killed 58 people at a Las Vegas music festival.

“We’ve done this before, after all,” Petty said. “We’re going to talk about mental health and terrorism, and we’re going to talk about hate and love.”

Injured victims who spoke to The New York Times recounted the sounds of glass breaking and bullets flying around them.

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