Victims of Colorado LGBTQ club shooting speak out

COLORADO SPRING, Colo. – Those who survived a mass shooting inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado are speaking out.

The suspected shooter is facing multiple murder and hate crime charges after he allegedly killed five people.

Michael Anderson is a bartender Club Q. He said, “I was bartending making drinks and then I heard like a pop pop pop. Once I looked up and I saw the shadow of a grown man wielding a rifle.”

Authorities are now calling it a hate crime that left five people dead and at least 19 others injured.

Barrett Hudson said he was shot seven times, but miraculously escaped serious injury.

“I see a door kinda shut, and there’s the gunman,” Barrett said. “There was a man in front of him, he put his hands up a little bit and took two steps back, and the dude just killed him.”

Tiara Kelley said she was performing at Club Q that night. “This guy, the look on his face was full of hate, it was complete hatred,” she said. “He walked by, went to the patio and then came back through again.”

The shooting started just before midnight on Saturday night.

At 11:57 pm someone at the bar called 911 and police started dispatching officers. The first officer arrived on scene at 12:00 am.

The shooter was stopped by two men inside the club. According to authorities, they confronted and fought with the suspect, took his handgun, and hit him with it.

Survivor Ed Sanders said, “God bless them. It could have been a lot worse if they hadn’t stepped in when they did.”

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said, “Two absolute heroes. If not for them I don’t know how many other people would have been injured.”

At 12:02 am, the suspect was in custody.

The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, is in the hospital.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN he bought the weapons used in the attack.

Now he’s facing five charges of first-degree murder as well as charges related to a possible bias-motivated crime.

Aldrich was arrested last year over a bomb threat at his mother’s home. The surrender was captured on camera, but local media report no formal charges were pursued and his records were sealed according to the district attorney.

Police have tried to speak to his mother. “She has not been cooperative with law enforcement,” Chief Vasquez said.

The close-knit LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs is now struggling to find a way forward.

“I’m doing okay considering I lost some friends that I care about,” said survivor Ed Sanders. “And I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.”

The New York Times reports the suspected gunman was wearing a military-style flak jacket when he arrived at the club and was heavily armed.

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