Colorado Springs communities were grieving this week in the wake of a mass shooting on Saturday night that left five people dead and 18 people injured. A suspect was being held and faced hate-crime and murder charges.
Club Q, where the attack took place, had been considered a safe haven for the L.G.B.T.Q. community in the area.
Patrons of the bar who quickly came together to tackle the gunman and stop the rampage were credited with preventing additional deaths.
Here’s what we know so far.
Just before midnight, a man shrouded in body armor and wielding an AR-15 style rifle and a handgun entered Club Q and began shooting.
Minutes into the shootings, as the gunman moved through the bar toward a patio, two people inside tackled the gunman and stopped the rampage. One of the two is an Army veteran, Richard M. Fierro, who said he went into “combat mode” and beat the gunman bloody with his own handgun.
Other patrons helped the two men, grabbing the rifle and moving it away to safety.
The mayor, the police and the club’s owners credited those interventions with saving lives.
Patrons described bullets flying and a scene of blood and pandemonium, as they tried to drop to the ground and get to safety.
Calls came into the police department and the fire department around midnight on Saturday night about an “active shooter.”
Ambulances and first responders began to mobilize quickly, with dispatchers scrambling to find enough ambulances to carry the wounded. Many injured people had left the premises and spread out. Emergency response dispatches described a scene of devastation.
Victims are remembered as ‘loving’ and ‘happy.’
The authorities identified the five people who were killed in the shooting as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.
Ms. Loving, 40, visited Club Q on Saturday night during a weekend trip from Denver. She was killed only a few minutes after speaking to a friend on FaceTime.
“I’m so devastated, because she was such a good person,” said Natalee Skye Bingham, 25, who described herself as a close friend of Ms. Loving.
Ms. Loving’s sister, Tiffany Loving, described her as “loving, always trying to help the next person out, instead of thinking of herself.”
Daniel Aston, a 28-year-old transgender man, moved to Colorado Springs two years ago and landed his first job as a bartender at Club Q. He loved the work, and would often perform at the venue, his mother, Sabrina Aston, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Mr. Aston was “always happy and silly” and “lit up a room,” she said.
The family of Raymond Green Vance, 22, was “still trying to come to terms with the fact he is gone,” relatives said in a statement. “His absence will leave irreparable heartbreak in countless lives.”
A suspect faces murder and hate-crime charges.
The authorities said they were holding Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, on suspicion of murder and bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, Colorado’s equivalent of a hate crime, for each of the five people killed in the shooting.
He was still hospitalized as of Monday afternoon, officials said, and he was being held without bond.
District Attorney Michael J. Allen said that formal charges would likely be filed after the suspect makes an initial court appearance, and that additional charges were possible. He declined on Monday to say whether the suspect had spoken to investigators.
The owners of Club Q said they did not know Mr. Aldrich.
A man with the same name and birth date as the suspect was arrested last year, accused of engaging in a lengthy standoff with the police after threatening to hurt his mother with a homemade bomb. Officials declined to say how those 2021 charges were resolved.
What don’t we know?
The police have not definitively stated a motive for the crimes.
Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs said the shooting “has all the appearances of being a hate crime,” but he said that investigators were still combing through the gunman’s social media history and conducting interviews to determine a motive.
Officials cautioned at a news conference on Monday that they would not release more information than needed to ensure they put forth a strong case.
Gay communities are fearful.
The deadly mass shooting has shaken gay communities across the country.
Members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community around Colorado Springs said Club Q had felt like a haven in a conservative city long known for anti-gay activism.
“This club was a refuge for our community,” said Bird Berg, 31, who attended a vigil with her wife. “I’m completely devastated.”
Across the country, in New York City’s gay community, bar owners said the fourth attack in a month on VERS, an L.G.B.T.Q. bar — by someone who threw a brick at the bar’s window — left a neighborhood on edge.