Tributes continue to come from people who managed to subdue a gunman and prevent him from killing more gay nightclub patrons in the US state of Colorado.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said someone grabbed the gun from the attacker while the attacker was shooting at Club Q gay club patrons on Saturday night.
The mayor added that another person from the club’s club kept the attacker on the ground until the police arrived at the scene.
But before his arrest, the attacker had already killed five people and injured 25 others.
Police named the suspect as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, and he is now in custody.
The mayor of Colorado Springs praised the club’s objection to the armed attacker, describing it as an “amazing act of heroism”.
The mayor told CNN that the police arrived at the scene of the attack within just three minutes of the 11.57pm tip-off – a surprisingly quick response.
“The police were able to end the incident within two minutes of their arrival. Much thanks to the heroic intervention of one or perhaps two people on the scene, subduing the armed attacker…and apparently seizing a handgun that he was carrying and aiming it at him,” added Sathers. to restrict his movement.
The mayor stressed, “Without this heroic intervention, the scene would have gotten worse.”
The praise also came from the governor of Colorado, as well as from the owner of the club (Club Q), who confirmed that “dozens and dozens of lives” were saved.
The police are still trying to count the exact number of injured, as some went themselves to the hospital for treatment.
An investigation is underway to determine whether the attack was a hate crime, and whether more than one person was involved.
Questions are being raised about the suspect, who appears to have been the subject of police suspicion in 2021 bomb threat lawsuits.
According to a police report at the time, the suspect’s mother called the emergency services saying he “was threatening her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.”
“Why does that have to happen?”
In a statement on its Facebook page, Club Q said it had been “devastated by the brutal attack on our community”.
The club was hosting a dance party at the time of the attack, and was planning to host a performance on Sunday evening to celebrate Transgender People Killed Because of Their Identity Day – November 20th.
Joshua Thurman, 34, was at Club Q at the time of the attack.
Thurman told the Colorado Sun that at first he thought the gunshots were part of the party’s music, but he soon had to hide in a changing room inside the club.
“When I came out of my hiding place, there were bodies all over the floor, shards of glass, broken glasses, and people screaming,” Thurman says.
“There was nothing stopping this man from coming to us and killing us. Why should that happen? Why? Why should people lose their lives?” Thurman asks.
Thurman resides in a residence close to Club Q, which is an important part of the gay community in that area.
Thurman believes he knows one of the victims of the attack.
US President Joe Biden said Americans “cannot and should not tolerate hate.”
In a statement from the White House, Biden added, “Places that are supposed to be safe spaces for acceptance and celebration should never turn into arenas for terror and violence. But that has happened too often — too much.”
In 2016, 49 people were killed in a shooting attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At the time, that attack was the deadliest of its kind in US history.