5 dead, 18 injured in Colorado nightclub shooting – NBC Chicago

A gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub on Saturday night, killing five and injuring 18 in the latest mass shooting to smash the country in a year in which anti-gay rhetoric simmers is intensified among extremists.

Colorado Springs Police Department Lt. Pamela Castro said police received a report of a shooting at Club Q at 11:57 p.m.

Castro said a suspect was injured and is being treated. She said it was not immediately clear if the attacker was shot by officers. She said the FBI was on the scene and helping with the case.

The police department tweeted that it was planning an 8 a.m. press conference at its operations center.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that offers a “Drag Diva Drag Show” on Saturdays, according to its website.

In addition to the drag show advertised on the website, Club Q’s Facebook page said planned entertainment for the evening included a “punk and alternative show” preceding a birthday dance party, with a “brunch for all ages” scheduled for noon Sunday.

“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club said on Facebook. He said his prayers are with the victims and the families, and “We thank the quick reactions of the heroic customers who subdued the shooter and put an end to this hateful attack.”

Colorado Springs is a city of about 480,000 people located about 112 kilometers south of Denver which is home to the US Air Force Academy. The city has long been an epicenter of American evangelicalism. Focus on the Family, a major evangelical Christian ministry, is based in Colorado Springs.

In November 2015, three people were killed and eight injured at a family planning clinic in the city when authorities said a man opened fire because he wanted to wage “war” on the clinic because she performed abortions.

The motive for Saturday’s shooting was not immediately known, but it brought to mind the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 people. And it happened in a state that has seen several notorious mass shootings, including at Columbine High School, a movie theater in a Denver suburb in 2012, and a Boulder supermarket last year.

In June, 31 members of the neo-Nazi group Patriot Front were arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and charged with conspiring to riot at a Pride event. Experts have warned that extremist groups could see anti-gay rhetoric as a call to action.

The previous month, a fundamentalist pastor in Idaho told his small congregation in Boise that gays, lesbians and transgender people should be executed by the government, which aligned with similar sermons by a fundamentalist pastor. from Texas.

There have been 523 massacres since 2006, resulting in 2,727 deaths as of Nov. 19, according to the Associated Press/USA Today database on US massacres.

NBC Chicago

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