Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said on Sunday that a 22-year-old gunman opened fire in an LGBTQ nightclub at around midnight on Saturday, killing five and wounding 25.
According to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, Anderson Lee Aldrich was the shooter at Club Q.
The club shooter entered and began firing almost immediately, but at least two clubgoers engaged him in combat and managed to stop the situation from escalating, as reported by Vasquez.
His words were, “We owe them an enormous debt of thanks.”
According to police reports, the suspect is currently receiving medical attention. Police say they did not fire at him.
Many of the deadliest mass shootings in American history have occurred in Colorado, most notably the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. Six people were killed in a shooting at a birthday party in Colorado Springs last year.
The shooting lasted just minutes
Authorities claim that the gunfire stopped minutes after the gunman began firing.
Multiple calls were made to 911 beginning at 11:56 p.m., police were sent to the scene at 11:57 p.m., the first officer arrived at midnight, and the suspect was taken into custody at 12:02 a.m., police reported. Fire Department Captain Mike Smaldino said that 11 ambulances and 39 firefighters responded.
Police chief Vasquez stated that two firearms were located at the scene and that Aldrich used a long rifle during the shooting.
The club’s owners informed The New York Times that surveillance footage showed the gunman entering the building while carrying many weapons and wearing a flak jacket typical of the military. The Times quotes owner Matthew Haynes as saying the gunman entered the business armed to the teeth.
Said affiliate KOAA said clubgoer Joshua Thurman was dancing inside when he heard gunfire and saw a muzzle flare.
I kept dancing because I was sure it was the music, he explained. Thurman claimed he hid in a changing room after hearing more gunfire.