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Two patrons confronted the man who opened fire at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs

Tyler Johnston, from left, his fiance Keenan Mastes-Holmes, and Altas Pretzeus embrace while paying their respects at a memorial for the victims of the weekend's shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jason Connolly
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AFP via Getty Images
Tyler Johnston, from left, his fiance Keenan Mastes-Holmes, and Altas Pretzeus embrace while paying their respects at a memorial for the victims of the weekend's shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Updated November 20, 2022 at 11:13 AM ET

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A 22-year-old suspect has been taken into custody after five people were killed and at least 18 were injured in a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub late Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo., authorities said.

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Police received a phone call at about 11:57 p.m. local time to report a shooting at Club Q, Colorado Springs Police Department spokesperson Lt. Pamela Castro said in a news conference Sunday morning.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was taken into custody shortly after police arrived on site and is currently being treated at a local hospital.

The suspect is believed to have "immediately" begun shooting people upon entering the nightclub. At least two "heroic" patrons confronted and fought the gunman, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez.

"We owe them a great debt of thanks," he said at the news conference.

Officials said at least two firearms were found on scene, including a long rifle which appears to have been used by the shooter.

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Police are still determining whether the attack is hate crime, but the local district attorney, Michael Allen, said it will be investigated "in that lens." The FBI is also on scene to assist in the investigation.

Officials said several victims are in the hospital with at least two in "critical care."

In a statement on Facebook, Club Q said it 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 that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack."

Castro said the motive for the shooting was unknown, according to CPR News.

In a statement, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the attack "horrific, sickening, and devastating."

"My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting," Polis said. He continued, "Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together."

The gunfire came on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance on Nov. 20 to commemorate the transgender people who have lost their lives because of anti-transgender violence.

The attack is the latest in a long string of shootings targeting the LGBTQ community. In 2016, a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. killing 49 people and injuring dozens of others. It is considered one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

Colorado itself has seen a series of mass shootings in recent years. In 2021, a shooter took the lives of 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder. In 2012, another opened fire inside a crowed movie theater in Aurora, killing 12 people. In 1999, two gunmen killed 13 people at Columbine High School.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: November 19, 2022 at 9:00 PM PST
An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting occurred in 2019. The shooting took place in 2012.
Corrected: November 19, 2022 at 9:00 PM PST
An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting occurred in 2019. The shooting took place in 2012.
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