A gunman opened fire at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub late on Saturday, killing at least 5 people and injuring 18, police said.
The suspected shooter was injured in the incident at Club Q, apprehended and hospitalized, Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Pamela Castro said at an early morning briefing Sunday. Police released no further information about the attacker.
“We have numerous people transported to multiple local hospitals via ambulance and police cruisers. The hospitals are helping us to notify family who have been injured,” Castro said.
Follow along for live coverage of the shoot.
Castro said she expected the number of casualties to change as the investigation unfolded.
“We will be here for many many hours to come,” Castro said.
The FBI was assisting on the scene, she said.
“We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack,” the nightclub, Club Q, posted on its Facebook page.
Police responded to initial calls at 11:57 pm (1:57 am Sunday ET). Social media footage from across the street and verified by NBC News showed dozens of police vehicles and a fire truck deployed near the club.
Club Q was hosting a “Drag Divas” show followed by a DJ night on Saturday, according to its Facebook page.
While the motive of the attack was not immediately known it comes amid what President Joe Biden earlier this year called “rising hate and violence” against LGBTQ people. So far this year, at least 32 transgender people have been shot or killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign, though that count does not appear to include the Colorado Springs victims.
In 2016, a massacre at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, left 49 people dead and dozens injured.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who in 2018 was the first openly gay man elected governor, called the shooting “horrific, sickening, and devastating” in a statement released Sunday morning.
“My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” he said, adding that “every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs.”
“We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting,” Polis, a Democrat, said. “Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”
Other local leaders also shared their outrage and condolences on Sunday.
“We have so much work to do to stop this from happening again,” Rep. Judy Amabile, a Colorado state lawmaker who represents Boulder said on Twitter.
“My heart is with our LGBTQ+ community as we all reel from this violence,” Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., wrote in a tweet.
“We have to protect LGBTQ lives from this hate,” Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., tweeted.
Rep. Mondaire Jones, DN.Y., one of the first gay Black men elected to Congress, tweeted that he was “outraged” by the shooting.
“Members of the LGBTQ community deserve to live full lives,” Jones tweeted.
This is a breaking story. Please check back for details.
Matthew Mulligan and Julianne McShane contributed.