A community in Colorado Springs, Colorado is in mourning after a gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub. The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, has been accused of killing five people at Club Q on Saturday evening, as well as reportedly injuring 18 others. Thankfully, Aldrich was tackled to the ground by two patrons before anymore people could be hurt or killed. But now several celebrities are speaking out after these tragic events.
The nightclub, which was a safe haven for the LGBTQ community in a mostly conservative area, is typically a place where one can see a drag show or have a fun night on the dance floor. But on this night things took a turn for the worst.
As The Washington Post reports, Aldrich opened fire a little before midnight. He allegedly started shooting the second he walked in and kept silent as he made his way through the club, terrifying patrons. Many were there for a drag show earlier that evening and had stayed while DJ Tara “T-Beatz” Bush was trying to get people on the dance floor. Including 45-year-old Richard Fierro, who was there with friends and family to see his 22-year-old daughter's friend perform in the drag show.
The New York Times states that Fierro had served four combat deployments as an Army officer in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the past. So he didn't hesitate to charge towards Aldrich, tackle to him the ground, and beat him bloody with his own gun.
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” Fierro told the NYT. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” he recalled. Fierro then called out to other patrons to come and help him, and another patron was able to take the gun and remove it from the scene. Police eventually arrived at Club Q and placed Aldrich in custody.
News of the tragedy spread quickly, and several celebrities expressed their sadness and horror at yet another mass shooting.
"Thinking about all the senseless gun violence that continues to plague our country. hoping politicians will actually work to make real change in America," wrote Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds. "Thinking about our LGBTQ youth that already feel unsafe. another sad day. how many more? may we continue to push for change."
"WHY?! Just f—king why," added musician Kacey Musgraves. "Here we are..shattered again and again. Living in constant fear. It’s so beyond f—ked up. These people were just freely enjoying their lives and weren’t hurting anyone. My heart is in half for my LGBTQIA+ fam. Love y’all forever."
We have yet to learn all the details of why Aldrich committed such an atrocious crime. But the Washington Post reports he has since been charged with five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime.