Transgender man among those murdered in Colorado nightclub attack, as the venue marked Trans Day of Remembrance

This is a developing story and is being updated with information, as we get it. Full story below updates.

UPDATES:

 

A transgender man was among those murdered in the Colorado nightclub shooting on Trans Day of Remembrance. 

The shooting is now being investigated as a hate crime.

NBC reports that a bartender was one of the victims killed in Saturday’s nightclub attack. 

Daniel Davis Aston, a bartender at Club Q and victim in the shooting, is pictured in an undated family photo.
Aston Family via NBC

Daniel Davis Aston was 4 when he first told his mother that he was a boy, reports Denver Post.

But it took more than a decade for Aston, 28, to come out as transgender and fully embrace his identity, his mother, Sabrina Aston, said Sunday.

He transitioned and found peace, she said. He was as happy now as he’d ever been.

She said he moved to Colorado from Oklahoma, where he was able to make friends quickly, largely because of his personality.

“It’s just unbelievable,” she said. “He had so much more life to give to us, and to all his friends and to himself.”

 

Update: Derrick Rump, who also worked the bar at Club Q, was another one of the five murdered during the attack, reports say.

 

People have used social media to pay their respects to the two confirmed victims of those who died during the attack.

 

 

Police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, who was being treated for injuries.

 

Club Q had been hosting a “Drag Divas” show followed by a DJ night on Saturday, the night before Trans Day of Remembrance.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez called Club Q “a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens.”

 

Early reports say the suspect entered the establishment, Club Q, wearing body armor, and began firing with an AR-15 style rifle, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the shooting.

One of the club’s owners, who reviewed surveillance video of the scene, said the gunman entered the nightclub with “tremendous firepower”, per NY Times

 

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said that someone had acted quickly to grab a handgun from the gunman, managed to hit him with it, which subdued him.

When police burst in, the man was still on top of the gunman, pinning him down, Mr. Suthers told The New York Times.

 

The suspect used an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon in the Saturday night shooting a law enforcement official said. A handgun and additional ammunition magazines also were recovered, according to the official, per Associated Press

 

One patron, Joshua Thurman, told AP he was in the club with about two dozen other people and was dancing when they first heard shots – at first thinking it was part of the music, until he heard another shot and said he saw the flash of a gun muzzle.

Thurman, 34, said he ran with another person to a dressing room where someone already was hiding. They locked the door, turned off the lights and got on the floor but could hear the violence unfolding, including the gunman getting beaten up, he added.

“I could have lost my life — over what? What was the purpose?” he said as tears ran down his cheeks. “We were just enjoying ourselves. We weren’t out harming anyone. We were in our space, our community, our home, enjoying ourselves like everybody else does.”

 

Of the 25 survivors injured, at least seven were in critical condition, officials at the hospital said. Some were injured while fleeing, and it was unclear if all of the victims were shot, a police spokesperson said.

 

Mourners gathered Sunday outside the shopping center that houses Club Q, laying flowers on the ground in remembrance of the victims.

 

Some more from Twitter, then the full story after the tweets.

 

Colorado shooter was known to police for weapons offences. LibsofTikTok shamefully posting about drag in the area, just hours after the attack

There have been 26 mass shootings in the US in November alone and at least 601 in 2022.

 

Five people are confirmed to have died following the nightclub shooting on Saturday night (November 19) at a gay venue in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Another 18 people were injured in the mass shooting at Club Q. Several people are in critical condition after club shooting, hospital officials say.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that features a “Drag Diva Drag Show” on Saturdays, according to its website.

 

Image AP

US President Joe Biden condemned the attack and called for action in tackling the gun crime epidemic.

 

Police said a suspect, named as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is in custody and being treated for injuries.

Seemingly, Aldrich was already known to police having been arrested with explosives and weapons in June of last year and after threatening his mother with a bomb.

 

 

 

Police are yet to suggest a motive for the shooting and have warned that the number of dead and injured could change as the investigation continues.

 

It has emerged that at least two “heroic” people inside the venue subdued the attacker.

Police chief Adrian Vasquez thanked the two club-goers who intervened:

“Initial evidence and interviews indicate that the suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting at people inside as he moved further into the club,” he told a news conference on Sunday.

“While the suspect was inside of the club, at least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. We owe them a great debt of thanks.”

 

The suspect was found inside the club and two firearms were found at the scene. The suspect is thought to have used a long rifle.

 

Reports say the venue was due to host a drag brunch later today (November 20).

Just hours after the massacre, as many online paid their respects to those killed, anti-LGBTQ+ account LibsofTiktok began tweeting further attacks on drag brunches in Colorado.

 

 

Far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ social media account LibsofTikTok has, over the past several months, been at the forefront of demonizing drag artists, framing educational drag brunches for young people as “perverse” or “grooming”.

 

It is widely understood that content posted from the LibsofTikTok account has been the catalyst for numerous attacks on drag events across the U.S. this year, with far-right extremists the “Proud Boys” showing up, often armed, to cause trouble and intimidate attendees.

Ironically, but unsurprisingly, it’s also widely agreed that the only reason for a sudden GOP obsession with drag came about following the school shooting in Ulvade, as a way to divert conversation away from calls for tighter gun control.

 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the nation’s first openly gay governor, called the deadly Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs “sickening.”

“This is horrific, sickening, and devastating. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” Polis said in a statement, according to his office.

 

Club Q, in Colorado Springs, released a statement on Facebook following the shooting, saying it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community”.

 

Police have asked people to be patient while they work to identify victims and finalise the number of casualties.

Officers received an initial emergency call about an active shooter at 23:57 (06:57 GMT) on Saturday, they said.

It is reported that “numerous” 911 calls, starting at 11:57 p.m., were picked up by emergency services, who attended the scene and secured who they believe to be the suspect.

Following the attack, Colorado Springs Police Lt. Pamela Castro said:

“They did locate one individual who we believe to be the suspect inside,” said Castro. “At this point in time, the suspect is being treated, but is in custody.”

Colorado Springs Fire Capt. Mike Smaldino said 11 ambulances responded to the scene after multiple 911 calls were received.

“We will be here for many, many hours to come,” said Castro, adding that the FBI is on the scene and assisting.

This story will be updated as it develops

In a post on social media, Club Q said it was “devastated by the senseless attack on our community” and offered condolences to victims and their families.

“We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack,” the statement said. Details of how the shooting ended have yet to be released by police, but Castro said “this was not an officer-involved shooting.”

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