Washington – A few hours after the mass shooting at an American nightclub that killed at least five people, President Joe Biden assured this Sunday that there is an “epidemic” of attacks against the LGBTQI+ community
“Gun violence continues to have a particularly devastating impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our country, and threats of violence are on the rise,” the president said in a statement.
The event occurred in the municipality of Colorado Springs in a venue for adults called Club Q, which hosts, among other activities, drag shows, and is being investigated as a possible hate crime.RELATED
A 22-year-old man identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich is being held as the alleged perpetrator of the shooting in which at least five people have died and 18 more have been injured, some seriously.
“While the motive for this attack is still unclear, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to terrible hate violence in recent years,” Biden said.
The president recalled what happened in Orlando in 2016, when 49 people who attended a Latino party at the gay-friendly Pulse nightclub were killed in a shootout at the hands of security guard of Afghan origin Omar Mateen, who swore allegiance to the Islamic State before of being shot dead by the police.
“We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history. We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against trans women, especially black trans women,” Biden recalled.
The president said that “it happens all too often” that places that are “supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration” become “places of terror and violence.”
“We must eliminate the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and should not tolerate hate,” said Biden, who insisted on the need to “address the epidemic” of “armed violence in all its forms.”
The Colorado Spring event occurred around midnight on Saturday. As explained by the police, an alert call was received at around 11:56 p.m. and a few minutes later several patrols went to the place.
The suspect, who was subdued by some of those present at the club, was arrested and later taken into custody. The police chief, Adrián Vásquez, specified that the assailant entered the club and immediately began shooting at the attendees.
“While the suspect was inside the club, at least two heroic people confronted him, fought him and were able to stop him from continuing the killing,” he added.
The injured were transported in private vehicles to various hospitals.
At least two firearms have been found at the scene. Aldrich used a long rifle during this shooting and police are investigating whether others assisted the suspect.
Through the social network Facebook, Club Q declared itself “devastated by this senseless attack” on the community.