Police have identified the suspect in the Saturday night mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, but are still investigating whether the attack was a hate crime.
Police say 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich used a long rifle to carry out the attack and had already been subdued by Club Q patrons when officers arrived. Authorities say at least 5 people were killed and 18 wounded in the attack, though they cautioned that those numbers are not final.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez delivered an update to reporters along with the city’s mayor, John Suthers, and other officials Sunday morning. Aldrich is in custody and is receiving treatment for injuries at a local hospital.
Police say they received the first call about the attack at 11:56 p.m. Saturday, and the first officer was dispatched to the scene at 11:57 p.m. The officer arrived on scene at 12:02 am and detained the already subdued suspect before calling for further support.
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Aldrich had a previous run-in with police in 2021, when police arrested him for allegedly making a bomb threat against two homes in Colorado Springs, according to KRDO.
Police were told at the time that Aldrich, then 21, had created a homemade explosive device and had weapons and ammunition. Police arrived at the scene and Aldrich refused to surrender, but was later taken into custody.
Aldrich faced two counts of felony threatening and three counts of first-degree kidnapping for the incident.
Authorities say the number of casualties at the club fluctuates, as some of the injured traveled to area hospitals using private means.
Vasquez says that “at least two heroic people” took action to prevent the shooter from causing further damage.
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The investigation is in its early stages and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the scene to help.
A Colorado Springs Fire Department spokesperson told FOX 21 that 34 firefighters and 11 ambulances responded to the scene.
Landon Mion contributed to this report.