A gunman opened fire in an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday night, killing five people and injuring 18 others, authorities said.
An unnamed suspect was also injured and is in custody while being treated at an area hospital, according to Lt. Pamela Castro of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Police received a report of an active shooter at 11:57 p.m. at Club Q, which a “Drag Diva Drag Show” on Saturday nights. At least 11 ambulances were called to the scene and victims were sent to multiple area hospitals.
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club said in a statement on its Facebook page. “We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
The FBI and local authorities are continuing to investigate the shooting and no motive has yet emerged. But the attack comes amid a surge of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes since the deadly massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people in 2016.
“Our hearts are broken for the victims of the horrific tragedy in Colorado Springs, and their loved ones. This unspeakable attack has robbed countless people of their friends and family and an entire community’s sense of safety. You can draw a straight line from the false and vile rhetoric about LGBTQ people spread by extremists and amplified across social media, to the nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year, to the dozens of attacks on our community like this one. That this mass shooting took place on the eve of on Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we honor the memory of the trans people killed the prior year, deepens the trauma and tragedy for all in the LGBTQ community,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in statement.
“The media must stop spreading misinformation and elevate the truth that LGBTQ people exist, belong and want to live in peace and safety,” Ellis added. “Elected officials and corporate leaders must act immediately to prioritize this truth, and protect everyone’s safety.”
Colorado Springs, the home of the U.S. Air Force and the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, is a city of about 480,000 located about 70 miles south of Denver.
The city has also been the site of multiple mass shootings in recent years. Last year, a man shot and killed six people at a birthday party on Mother’s Day before killing himself. In 2015, a gunman opened fire at a Planned Parenthood office, killing three people and wounding nine others. (He was later declared mentally unfit and committed to a psychiatric hospital.) Also in 2015, another man wielding a semiautomatic rife shot and killed three people, apparently at random, on a residential street near the city’s downtown before he was fatally shot by police.