Colorado Springs Club Shooting: 'Heroes' Who Subdued Gunman Identified

Live Updates
  • Five people are dead and 19 others are injured after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night.
  • Authorities have identified 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich as the suspected shooter. The alleged gunman used a AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon.
  • Patrons reportedly stopped the attack by grabbing the suspect's handgun and hitting him with it, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told the Associated Press. Police identified the two "heroes" and five of the victims on Monday.
  • Club Q was known as a "safe space" for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs, residents told reporters.
  • The investigation into a motive is ongoing, though the state's attorney general, Phil Weiser, said Monday that it's hard to believe the shooting wasn't motivated by hate.
  • People have blamed anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, accusing the community of "grooming" the violence.
Club Q Memorial
Bouquets of flowers and a sign reading "Love Over Hate" are left near Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 20, 2022. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images

Live updates have ended.

'Heroes' Who Subdued Gunman Identified

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez on Monday identified the two "heroes" who helped stop the Club Q shooter on November 19.

Law enforcement authorities have credited two of the club's patrons that night with subduing the shooter until police arrived at the scene. Their actions "saved lives," according to a post on the city's website.

Those two individuals' "exact actions are part of the investigation, so we can't discuss the specifics out of respect for the judicial process, but with their permission, we want to acknowledge their heroic actions," the department said.

Police identified the individuals as Thomas James and Richard Fierro.

District Attorney Michael Allen with Colorado's 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said during a Monday news briefing that formal charges have not yet been filed against 22-year-old suspected shooter Anderson Aldrich. Arrest charges initially filed against Aldrich included five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crimes resulting in injury.

Allen said additional charges could follow and urged survivors and witnesses to come forward and speak with police as the investigation continues.

Aldrich was taken to a hospital after the shooting and was still there on Monday. Allen said Aldrich's initial court appearance is expected to happen by video within the next few days, with the exact timing dependent upon when he is released from the hospital.

Police Share Names, Photos of 5 Victims

The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) on Monday released the names of the five people killed in the November 19 shooting at Club Q.

Family members of all five victims have been contacted, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said during a Monday afternoon press briefing. Vasquez then identified the individuals by the pronouns they and their family members used.

As the press conference continued, the CSPD shared photos of the five victims on social media, along with their names and pronouns. The images were selected by the victims' family members, Vasquez said.

The CSPD identified the victims as: Kelly Loving (she/her), Daniel Aston (he/him), Derrick Rump (he/him), Ashley Paugh (she/her) and Raymond Green Vance (he/him).

Colorado Springs Club Q victims
The following five people are deceased following the shooting early Sunday at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Co. At center is Ashley Paugh and clockwise from top left is Raymond Green Vance; Kelly Loving; Derrick Rump; Daniel Aston. Colorado Springs Police Department via Twitter

DC Police to Increase Presence Around LGBTQ Spaces

In Washington D.C., police presence will be increased around LGBTQ establishments across the city following the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado.

The Metropolitan Police Department said there are no known threats to any events or locations in the district.

"We're targets and we always have been," John Guggenmos of DC Nightlife Council (DCNC) told WUSA9. "Even in Washington, D.C. where we have all the council support, we have the mayor's support, the police support, it only takes one idiot to actually change everyone's life forever."

The D.C. Mayor's Office for LGBTQ Affairs will also hold a candlelight vigil at the Dupont Circle Fountain Monday night at 5:30 p.m. ET to "mourn and honor the lives lost and impacted" by the Colorado shooting.

DA Shares Other Possible Charges

Michael Allen, the district attorney for Colorado's 4th Judicial District, said Monday that the formal list of charges prosecutors will file against the suspected Club Q gunman will be finalized "in the coming days."

During a Monday afternoon appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Allen said the 10 charges initially filed against 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich, whom authorities identified as the suspected gunman, are the arrest charges and that the formal charges "have not been filed yet."

Aldrich's arrest charges included five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crimes resulting in injury. Allen suggested prosecutors could consider extreme indifference murder charges "if the evidence supports it," in addition to first-degree murder charges.

Hate crimes are also possible for the formal list of charges, Allen said. "Obviously we have some evidence based on the location of the shooting, and the people that were killed and shot at," he said.

Attempted murder charges are also possible.

"For anybody that was inside that club that weren't shot, that would probably qualify as attempted murder, and we're trying to determine how many counts of attempted murder we might get filed," he said.

Those details will depend upon identifying everybody who was inside the club at the time the shooting occurred, including people who fled and were not injured, Allen said.

SOON: Colorado Springs Police Press Conference

The Colorado Springs Police Department will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. local time to provide an update on the deadly mass shooting at Club Q over the weekend.

The briefing will be streamed on the Colorado Springs Police Department Facebook page.

Colorado Gay Club shooting
A sign for Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub, is seen in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 20, 2022. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images

Tulsa Café Remembers Victim

A Mexican food restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, paid tribute on Sunday to one of the victims killed in the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs on November 19.

In a post on Facebook, Elote Café & Catering shared pictures of Daniel Aston, whom the restaurant identified as a former employee that restaurant staff called "Dan Dan." Aston was one of five people killed in the shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs.

"It's not fair and we are hurting," the restaurant's post said. "Anyone who knew Dan Dan loved him. He had the kindest heart and he radiated positivity."

The restaurant then said it provided "a safe work place" for Aston as he transitioned.

"He shaped Elote for the better and we will continue to share that love with our community," the post said. "We love you Dan Dan. Rest In Power."

The Elote Family is heart broken 💔Last night an Elote family member was taken from us in a hate crime in Colorado Springs. His name was Daniel, but we called him Dan Dan. It’s not fair and we are...

Victim Shot 7 Times is 'Fortunate' to be Alive

One of the Club Q shooting survivors said he is "very lucky" to be alive after he was shot seven times.

Barrett Hudson told CNN that none of the bullets pierced any of his vital organs.

"I was hit seven times in the back with an AR-15, up and down from the top of my back to my bottom. I got very lucky it missed all my organs — my colon, my spine, my lungs," he said from his hospital bed.

Hudson said there's "no way" he should have walked out of the club alive.

"I'm very, very appreciative for life and for you guys to interview me and get my side of the story," he said. "Maybe I can help somebody else and be strong — for me as well as other people."

Hudson had just moved to Colorado and was checking out Club Q with a friend Saturday night.

He said the gunshots sounded that "popping balloons" amid the loud music.

"I've never heard gunshots in a club before that," he said. "I had heard popping balloons and it kinda sounds like that because the music's so loud, and you really think, 'that's not a gun.' And I heard 'pop pop pop pop pop pop pop,' and I look right and I see a door kinda shut, and there's the gunman."

When the gunman entered the club, there was a man directly in front of him who put his hands up and took a few steps backwards before he was shot and killed by the shooter, Hudson said.

"That's when I took off running with some other people. I got hit seven times, I fell down, I got back up," he said. "There were two double doors in the back, I ran out of the one on the right so I immediately went right and, I'm shot seven times through all this."

Hudson ran, hopped a barded wire fence and made it to a nearby 7-Eleven store where he screamed for help and that he was shot.

"I got lucky," he said. "I know I'm very fortunate to be here, and I'm keeping a strong head on, I'm very strong-willed."

At Least Three Victims in Stable Condition

Victims wounded from the Club Q shooting have been treated at various local hospitals.

Colorado Springs Fire Chief Randy Royal said Sunday that the wounded victims were taking to either Centura Penrose, UCHealth Memorial North or UCHealth Memorial Central.

Colorado Springs Police just updated the victim report. There were 18 people injured, 17 of whom with gunshot wounds.

UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central said 11 patients from the incident were brought in.

In a statement Monday, the hospital said it is current caring for 10 patients who were injured in the shooting after one patient was discharged. No additional information about the patients is available at this time, the hospital said.

A spokesperson form Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs told Newsy reporter Adi Guajardo that the hospital received seven victims from the shooting. Three of those patients remain in the hospital in stable condition, Guajardo reported.

Police Say 19 Victims Were Injured

Colorado Springs Police issued an update on the Club Q shooting.

According to police, five victims were killed and 19 others were injured.

Of those surviving victims, 17 suffered gunshot wounds, one was injured due to something besides a gunshot wound and one has no visible injuries.

"We know many more community members were present at Club Q during the shooting, who may be victims with no visible injuries," police said. "An example is a community member who ran out as the shooting occurred."

The shooting suspect remains in police custody at a local hospital.

The police said they will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. local time and ask anyone who is a victim, knows a victim or has any other information about the incident to contact the FBI.

Suspect Had 100+ Bullets, Report

The gunman who killed five people and injured 25 others at Club Q Saturday night is reportedly believed to have brought more than 100 bullets into the gay nightclub.

The owners of Club Q told The New York Times that their review of security footage from that night showed the shooter walk into the club with what they identified as six magazines of ammunition and a rifle. They told the paper the number of magazines seen on the security tape suggests that as many as 180 bullets were brought inside.

The club owner described the suspect as having "tremendous firepower."

Police have identified the shooting suspect as 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich. Local media outlets that reviewed court documents on Monday reported Aldrich has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crimes.

Bartender Describes Feeling 'Trapped'

A bartender at Club Q said he felt "like a fish trapped in a barrel" when he saw the shooter's gun Saturday night.

Michael Anderson said he was working behind the bar when he heard shots going off. He hid behind the bar, telling MSNBC that he was afraid for his life.

He was able to escape the main room to a back patio where he hid on the ground between a booth and the wall with a coworker and another patron.

Anderson said at one point, he poked his head out above the booth and saw the barrel of the shooter's gun.

"I saw just the tip of it and it was at that point that I legitimately thought I was about to get shot," he said. "I didn't know. I felt like a fish trapped in a barrel. I didn't know where to go. I didn't have my phone or anything."

He said he put his head down and prayed, thinking about his mom. Then about ten seconds or so later, Anderson said "it got silent."

"All you could hear was the dance music bumping through the club," he said, adding that it felt "eerie" because when he usually heard music, he also heard "people having a good time."

Anderson said it was "dead silent" and he decided to try to get out of the club. That's when he saw people beating up on the shooter on the ground.

He said he doesn't know who was punching, kicking and screaming at the gunman, but that he is "so grateful."

"I will be grateful for whoever that is for the rest of my life because this could have been very different for me," he said.

Club Q 'Devastated' by Shooting

Club Q said in a Sunday Facebook post that it is "devastated" by the deadly shooting that occurred there on November 19. The Colorado Springs gay nightclub called the shooting a "senseless attack on our community."

"Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends," the Facebook post said.

The club also thanked the patrons who stopped the shooter.

"We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack," the club's post said.

Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers...

The club said on its website that it will be closed "until further notice."

Later Sunday, Club Q shared a link to Colorado Gives 365 and encouraged donations to help the victims.

The club also notified the public that representatives of GLAAD and One Colorado will be in town throughout the week "to provide counseling services or if you just need to be with family or just need a hug."

Boebert LGBTQ Remarks Resurface

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is facing criticism for offering prayers to the victims of the Club Q shooting in light of past remarks she has made about the LGBTQ+ community.

In a Sunday tweet, Boebert said news of the shooting was "absolutely awful."

"This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly," her tweet said.

Several people left comments on her post that included screenshots of previous Boebert tweets, some of which they said Boebert had deleted, and clips of her speaking about the LGBTQ+ community.

In one tweet from August, Boebert posted an image of a flier advertising a drag queen story hour. "Sending a message to all the drag queens out there: stay away from the children in Colorado's Third District," her tweet said.

In another, she contrasted the push for gun legislation with a drag queen story hour that she said was guarded by people with AR-15 weapons.

"Remember, they only want YOUR guns," she said in the tweet. "They want to use theirs to protect their depravity."

Two Bartenders Among Those Killed

Two bartenders and a visiting patron have been identified as three of the five people killed at the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs Saturday.

Daniel David Aston was identified as one of the victims by his mother. The 28-year-old transgender man recently moved to Colorado Springs from Tulsa and was working and performing at Club Q for the past two years.

"We are in shock, we cried for a little bit, but then you go through this phase where you are just kind of numb, and I'm sure it will hit us again," his mother, Sabrina Aston told the Associated Press. "I keep thinking it's a mistake, they made a mistake, and that he is really alive."

Please take my picture. Use it remember those amazing smiles. Those hearts we all love so much.

Fellow bartender Derrick Rump, 28, was also reportedly killed, according to The Gazette.

Club Q performer Tiara Latrice Kelley told the Gazette that Rump "was all about keeping people happy."

Aston reportedly tweeted in January that people told him he is the reason they love Club Q.

"Every single goddamn time I even have the slightest thought of leaving Club Q, someone comes up and tells me 'you're the reason I love this bar' or 'you and Derrick make me feel so safe and welcome here,'" he said in a tweet.

Kelly Loving, a transgender woman, was also among those killed, according to the New York Times.

Natalee Skye Bingham, a close friend of Loving, told the Times that the 40-year-old was visiting from Denver.

Bingham said she had been on a FaceTime call with Loving shortly before the attack began, telling her: "Be safe. I love you."

"She was like a trans-mother to me," Bingham added. "In the gay community you create your families, so it's like I lost my real mother almost."

The FBI informed her sister Tiffany Loving of Kelly's death Sunday night.

"She was loving, always trying to help the next person out instead of thinking of herself. She just was a caring person," Loving told the Times.

Sunday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor those killed by acts of anti-transgender violence.

NBC reported that a fourth victim, Ashley Paugh, was also killed in the shooting Saturday night.

Her sister, Stephanie Clark, said Paugh was out at Club Q with a friend. She is not a member of the LGBTQ community.

"It just doesn't seem real," Clark said. "We're heartbroken. We're sad. We're mad, angry."

Clark said Paugh leaves behind a husband and an 11-year-old daughter.

"My niece is devastated," she said, adding that Paugh "lived for her daughter."

Suspect Faces 10 Charges, Report

Charges have reportedly been filed against Anderson Aldrich, the 22-year-old suspected in the November 19 deadly shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

Court documents were reviewed Monday by The Gazette, a Colorado Springs newspaper. The paper's review of the documents showed five first-degree murder charges filed against Aldrich, as well as five charges of bias-motivated crimes resulting in bodily injury.

No court date was specified in the court paperwork, according to the paper's review of the documents.

Aldrich was taken to a hospital after the shooting. He was reportedly still in the hospital as of Monday morning.

Colorado Springs police are expected to provide an update during a Monday afternoon briefing. Police have not yet identified a suspected motive for the shooting.

Police to Hold Monday Briefing

Police are expected to hold a briefing Monday afternoon to provide the latest updates on the November 19 mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

The Colorado Springs Police Department said Sunday on Twitter that the next briefing would be "by noon" local time (12 p.m. MST) on Monday. The department has streamed previous media briefings live on its Facebook page.

Police have identified the suspect in the deadly shooting as 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich but have not yet announced any suspected motives.

Flags Ordered to Half-Staff Until Saturday

Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered all flags on public buildings to be lowered to half-staff from Monday Nov. 21 to Saturday Nov. 26.

Polis called this shooting "horrific, sickening and devastating."

Members of the Colorado Springs community held a vigil memorial near Club Q Sunday night to honor the victims of the mass shooting that left five people dead and 25 others injured.

Candle At Club Q Memorial
Memorial for Club Q
Vigil for Club Q Victims
Colorado Springs Vigil

A makeshift memorial was erected at Club Q Monday morning.

Club Q Memorial
Bouquets of flowers and a sign reading "Love Over Hate" are left near Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 20, 2022. JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images

Suspect Reportedly Arrested in 2021 for Making Bomb Threat

Officials are investigating other interactions Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect in Saturday's shooting at a Colorado Springs gay club, had with law enforcement.

Aldrich was previously arrested in June 2021 after his mother reported he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

This arrest, however, did not seem to trigger Colorado's "red flag" law, which would have allowed police to seize the weapons his mother claimed he possessed.

There is no public record that prosecutors ever moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Aldrich, the Associated Press reported.

Aldrich reportedly called the editor of The Gazette newspaper, asking the story of the incident be removed from the website.

"There is absolutely nothing there, the case was dropped, and I'm asking you either remove or update the story," Aldrich said in a voicemail. "The entire case was dismissed."

Colorado State Representative Tom Sullivan said this report should have alerted police to put Aldrich "on their radar."

"We need heroes beforehand — parents, co-workers, friends who are seeing someone go down this path," Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora theater shooting and sponsored the state's red flag law passed in 2019, told the AP.

The Associated Press found that Colorado has one of the lowest rates of red flag usage, despite widespread gun ownership and a history of high-profile mass shootings.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told NBC's "Today" show that the district attorney would file motions in court Monday to allow law enforcement to speak about any criminal history that the suspect might have had.

Outlets, including The San Diego Union-Tribune, found that Aldrich's mother, Laura Voepel, is the daughter of California State Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

In an April 14, 2020, Facebook post, Laura Voepel said: "Keep up the work dad. You work hard to improve our lives and a lot of us take notice."

Randy Voepel has been condemned for comments he made comparing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the American Revolutionary War.

Just three days after the riot, Randy Voepel told the Union-Tribune that "This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny."

"Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the [Joe] Biden swear-in on January 20," he said.

Patron Stopped Shooter With His Own Gun

Patrons at Club Q were able to stop the shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub by using the gunman's own weapon against him.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told several news outlets that the first dispatch call was 11:57 p.m. and police arrived at 12a.m. By 12:02 a.m., the suspect was subdued by patrons and taken into police custody.

He said at least one person at the club was able to grab the shooter's handgun and hit him with him. Suthers called it "an incredible act of heroism" on NBC's "Today" show.

"Had that individual not intervened this could have been exponentially more tragic," Suthers told the Associated Press.

Officials Believe Shooting Was a Hate Crime

While the motive in the shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs is still under investigation, several state and local official believe this was a hate crime.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told NBC's "Today" show that law enforcement officials are still trying to determine suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich's motive for allegedly opening fire, killing five people and injuring 18 others.

"We need to look at social media," he said. "We need to look at all kinds of other information that we are gathering from people that knew the individual before we make any definitive conclusions about a motivation but it certainly, as I say, has the trappings of a hate crime."

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told CNN Monday that it's difficult for him to believe that this crime was not motivated by hate.

"I think it's fair to say — based on the facts — it's very hard to conceive of a situation where the motive wasn't generated by hate," Weiser said.

He said we are currently living in a time of "rising hate and rising demonization" and said it is up to those in leadership positions to recognize that "our words matter."

"The legitimization of hating towards LGBTQ+ individuals has to stop," Weiser said. "The idea that we can say to someone that they're less than human or they don't have a place in our society is a very dangerous road."

"We can and we all must recognize that everyone has a right to be their best authentic selves, to love who they love and not have to live in fear that they are going to be demonized," he added.