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Heroes who subdued Club Q gunman saved ‘dozens of lives’

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(NewsNation) — Colorado Springs officials say the Club Q patrons who subdued a gunman Saturday night are heroes who kept the tragedy from being even worse. 

The gruesome attack happened just before midnight in the popular gay nightclub, when a gunman used a shotgun to kill at least five people and injured 25. The toll would’ve been higher without two “very heroic individuals,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said

One patron reportedly took the handgun from the shooter and hit him with it, while another held the gunman down until police arrived. The crowd at the club was lighter than usual, due to cold weather.

Police received a 911 call at 11:57 p.m. and arrived within four minutes. 

Officials have identified the suspect as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, who may be charged with a bias-motivated crime in addition to murder.

Advocates say hate crimes against LGBTQ people have increased in recent years. A recent report said at least 32 transgender people have already been killed in 2022. 

“We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate,” President Joe Biden said Monday in a speech.

Aldrich may have previously been investigated by police over an alleged bomb threat in 2021, the BBC reports, after his mother had called emergency services saying “he was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.”

Matthew Haynes, the owner of Club Q, told The New York Times the club had an active shooter protocol, which was “followed to the letter.” 

By acting quickly, Haynes said the heroic patrons likely saved “dozens and dozens of lives.”

“Stopped the man cold,” he said. “Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him.”

One patron reportedly took the handgun from the shooter and hit him with it, while another held the gunman down until police arrived. The crowd at the club was lighter than usual, due to cold weather.

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