Club Q a "haven" for Colorado Springs LGBTQ community
Colorado Springs Police chief Adrian Vasquez on Sunday called Club Q a "safe haven" for people in the LGBTQ community.
Driving the news: That haven was shattered Saturday night, when a suspected 22-year-old gunman opened fire inside the nightclub, leaving at least five people dead and 18 wounded.
- Vasquez credited two "heroic" people for helping subdue the gunman.
- Club Q in a statement called the incident a "senseless attack on our community."
- Law enforcement officers are investigating the motive for the shooting as well as whether it was a hate crime, Vasquez said.
The big picture: Colorado Springs, a city known for its conservative leanings, is home to some Christian leaders who have openly denounced homosexuality. Still, the city of roughly 500,000 people has a small LGBTQ community.
- Club Q was scheduled to host a Drag Brunch on Sunday morning, and to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance with an evening show.
What they're saying: Joshua Thurman, a Colorado Springs resident, told the Colorado Sun that he was on the dance floor Saturday night when the shooting started. He called the club "an important part of the gay community" in the city.
- "I'm glad some of my friends weren't here. But this is my community," Samaria Sullivan, who identifies as a lesbian, told the Colorado Sun on Sunday.
- "This unspeakable attack has robbed countless people of their friends and family and an entire community's sense of safety," Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, wrote on Twitter.
- The attack comes as anti-gay rhetoric has intensified, the Denver Post writes.
- Ellis tweeted that "false and vile rhetoric about LGBTQ people [is] spread by extremists and amplified across social media," noting there were "nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year..."
What to watch: A vigil is scheduled at 11:30am MT Sunday at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs.