Perpetrator of US gay nightclub shooting faces murder charges and possible hate crimes

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Anderson-Lee Aldrichthe 22-year-old man who opened fire over the weekend at a gay club in Colorado Springswestern United States, leaving five dead and twenty injured, could face charges for murder and hate crimes, authorities said Monday.

lee aldrichwho was submitted by assistants to the Club Q Saturday night after firing into the crowd with an assault rifle, he is currently being held at a hospital awaiting formal charges, Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said.

LOOK: Shooting at a Colorado gay nightclub leaves at least 5 dead and 18 injured

El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said he expects the shooter to appear in court in the coming days.

lee aldrich would face first degree murder charges and “if there is evidence of hate crimes, you will be charged for this as well,” Allen added.

A friend of Raymond Green Vance lights candles in front of his portrait during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. (CECILIA SANCHEZ / AFP).

John Suthers, the mayor of Colorado Springspraised two heroes who helped stop the attacker after he entered the club and opened fire.

LOOK: Colorado gay nightclub shooter arrested by ‘heroic’ attendees after killing 5 people

“I think, in the opinion of everyone involved, (they) saved a lot of lives.Suthers said.

The mayor spoke to one of these men, Richard Fierro, a 15-year veteran of the United States Army.

“I have never met someone who engaged in such heroic actions to be so humble about it.Suthers added. “He just told me, ‘I was trying to protect my family,’” she explained.

Fierro was with his wife, daughter and friends at the bar when the shooting began.according to the interview he gave to The New York Times newspaper.

The 45-year-old veteran, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he brought down the shooter by grabbing a handle on his bulletproof vest, reaching for his gun and hitting him with it.

“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into ‘battle mode,’” Fierro said. “I just know that I had to kill the guy before he killed us.”

“I took the gun out of his hand and started hitting him over the head, over and over again,” the veteran explained to the newspaper.

People hold candles during a vigil in Acacia Park for the victims of a mass shooting at Club Q, in Colorado Springs, on November 21, 2022. (Cecilia SÁNCHEZ / AFP).

People hold candles during a vigil in Acacia Park for the victims of a mass shooting at Club Q, in Colorado Springs, on November 21, 2022. (Cecilia SÁNCHEZ / AFP).

“vile rhetoric”

the police of Colorado Springs he said five people were killed and 18 wounded, 17 with gunshot wounds. Another victim was without “visible injuries,” according to an official statement.

The attack was the deadliest against the LGBTQ community in the United States since a 2016 mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that claimed 49 lives.

GLAAD, an advocacy organization for the LGBTQ community, said the Q Club shooting occurred on the eve of Transgender Remembrance Day, celebrated internationally on November 20 to honor victims of transphobic attacks, and in the midst of a increased hostility against that group in the United States.

“You can draw a straight line from the false and vile rhetoric about LGBTQ people spread by extremists and amplified on social media, to the nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year, to dozens of attacks like this on our community. ”, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.

Brianna Titone, a state legislator from Colorado openly transgender, also pointed to anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

“When politicians and authorities continue to perpetuate (…) insults and misinformation about the trans and LGBTQ+ community, this is the result,” he tweeted.

Transgender rights were a hot topic in the United States ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, and Republicans filed a series of legislative proposals to restrict them.

“evil act”

The police chief condemned what he called an “evil act” and vowed to do everything possible so that the community of Colorado Springs feel safe again.

Bartender Michael Anderson praised the patrons who tamed the gunslinger. “There were very brave people punching and kicking him, stopping him from doing any more damage,” he said. “They saved my life.”

For his part, President Joe Biden condemned the attack and spoke Monday with the governor of ColoradoJared Polis, who in 2018 became the first openly gay governor to be elected to office.

“We must eliminate the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate,” she said.

On Monday night, hundreds of people gathered in a park in Colorado Springs for a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims.

Speakers highlighted the resilience of the LGBTQ community and insisted that they would not be intimidated by the horrific violence on Saturday night.

Source: Elcomercio

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