Washington, Nov 20 – A few hours after the mass shooting in an American nightclub that has killed at least 5 people, President Joe Biden assured this Sunday that there is an “epidemic” of attacks against the collective LGBTQI+
“Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our country, and threats of violence are on the rise,” the president said in a statement.
The event occurred in the municipality of Colorado Springs in a place for adults called Club Q, which hosts cross-dressing shows, among other activities, and is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
A 22-year-old man identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich is in custody as the alleged perpetrator of the shooting in which at least 5 people have died and 18 more have been injured, some seriously.
“While the motive for this attack is still unclear, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been the target of horrific hate violence in recent years,” Biden said.
The president recalled what happened in Orlando in 2016, when 49 people attending a Latin party at the gay-friendly Pulse nightclub were shot dead by Afghan security guard Omar Mateen, who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State before to drop dead from police gunfire.
“We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack on the LGBTQI+ community in American history. We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women, especially transgender women of color.” Biden recalled.
The president said it “happens too often” that places that are “supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration” become “places of terror and violence.”
“We must eliminate the inequalities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and should not tolerate hate,” said Biden, who insisted on the need to “address the epidemic” of “gun violence in all its forms.”
The Colorado Spring event occurred around midnight on Saturday. As explained by the police, an alert call was received around 11:56 local time (06:56 GMT) and a few minutes later several patrols went to the scene.
The suspect, who was subdued by some of those present at the club, was arrested and later taken into custody. The police chief, Adrián Vásquez, specified that the assailant entered the club and immediately began shooting at the attendees.
“While the suspect was inside the club, at least two heroic people confronted him, fought with him and were able to stop him from continuing the killing spree,” he added.
The injured were transported in private vehicles to various hospitals.
At least two firearms have been found at the scene. Aldrich used a long rifle during this shooting and police are investigating whether other people assisted the suspect.
Through the social network Facebook, Club Q declared itself “devastated by this senseless attack” on the community.
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