Nov 21, 2022
Tragedy at LGBTQ nightclub Transcript
A 22-year-old man is in police custody after at least five people were shot and killed, and 18 injured, in a mass shooting at a gay club in Colorado Springs late Saturday night. Read the transcript here.
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Jessica Crawford (00:01):
Breaking news right now on Denver 7. A Saturday night out, turned tragic in Colorado Springs. At least five people are now dead, 18 people are now hurt after a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub. It’s called a safe haven for those in the community. That took place overnight, and now that sense of safety is gone. I’m Jessica Crawford
Katie Lasalle (00:21):
And I’m Katie LaSalle. Thank you for being with us. This story has been developing all morning. We do know police have the shooter in custody and that there is no active threat to the public right now.
Jessica Crawford (00:30):
We do have team coverage for you now. Our Colette Bordelon is at the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center, and our Brandon Richard is outside Club Q right now.
We’re going to get started with Colette who was at the press conference that wrapped up just about 30 minutes ago. What can you tell us about the suspect?
Colette Bordelon (00:50):
A lot of details were released about the suspect, but before we even get to that 22 year old man, I really want to focus on what Club Q means to this community. I’ve done several stories with them in years past, during the pandemic. They were also a shining light to bring more LGBTQ focused groups here to open up locations here in this city. So, this happening there is absolutely tragic. You could feel that heaviness in the room as we were addressed by the police chief, the fourth Judicial District District Attorney, Michael Allen. We also heard from the fire department, as well as a couple of other people with the police department.
But the suspect’s name is Anderson Lee Aldridge. He’s 22. Police say that he used a long rifle in this crime. They couldn’t tell us if it was a high capacity magazine necessarily, at this point in the investigation. What they could tell us though, was a little bit more of a timeline. So that initial call for service, that was at 11:56 last night. The first officer dispatched a minute later. They arrived on the scene at 12:00. The suspect was detained by 12:02. So all of that happened in a time span of just over five minutes.
Of course, this is still something that has shaken this community to its core. We did not get any identities of the victims in this case, we know five have been pronounced dead. The victims’ families will, of course first be identified before they are releasing any of those names at this point. Whether or not this was all part of a hate crime, that’s under investigation.
Speaker 4 (02:18):
This club is not a problem, it is a safe haven for members of our community. So we are all shocked and saddened that this occurred here last night.
Colette Bordelon (02:33):
Now, police could not give us a date of birth of the suspect at this time, but if you look up his name, you’ll find past news stories from last summer, regarding a bomb threat in Larson Ranch, so that’s in Southern El Paso County, tied to a person with the same name. Whether or not that’s the same person, police wouldn’t say at this point in the investigation. Like I said, his full name, Anderson Lee Aldridge. We also know that apparently when he entered Club Q two people confronted him. Police really did speak about how those two people likely saved more lives with their actions, they did also say they know that those two people, they believe, were not injured. So hopefully those two did survive.
Jessica Crawford (03:11):
Colette, thank you for that perspective on also what the club meant to people in that area, and that comes from your many years of working in Colorado Springs. Thank you for being here.
Let’s get out to Brandon Richard, who’s at the scene of the shooting. He’s been there all morning. Brandon, you spoke with someone who says that they were at Club Q last night.
Brandon Richard (03:33):
Yeah, that’s right Jessica. We just got through speaking with a Joshua Thurman, he says that he is a go-go dancer but he was at this club last night just enjoying the night with some friends when this shooting happened. I’ll step out of the way because you can see he’s actually still here on the scene. There he is, the gentleman in the brown hoodie there. He said that he came here to see if he could get his car, of course. Everyone who was at the club last night when this happened, their cars are still here in the parking lot, the Club Q parking lot.
Now, Club Q, as we said, this is an LGBT nightclub. It’s located in the center of this shopping center here. It’s a little difficult for us to see the front of Club Q itself because we do have another building with some more businesses in front of it. But just from our vantage point, we can see several police officers and several police cars on the scene. We did learn a lot more information from that earlier press conference with police, that 8:00 press conference. We learned that the first call to 911 came in just before midnight. Again, police arrived and found to scores of victims. Many of them had to be transported in the back of police cars. Others were transported in ambulances. There were multiple ambulances out here.
Again, police not speaking to a motive right now. But as you can imagine, the folks who are familiar with this club, those who go to this club, they see it as sort of a refuge for the LGBTQ community, including Joshua, who we spoke to just a few minutes ago. I believe we do have a little portion of his sound that we can share with you.
This is our home, this is our space. We come here to just enjoy ourselves, and this happens. It was so scary. I heard shots, broken glass, bodies.
Brandon Richard (05:50):
Just a horrific experience. Joshua had the pause several times just to collect himself. You can just imagine how horrific it must have been to go through something like that. You’re at a club, you’re enjoying the night with your friends, you hear gunshots. He says that he didn’t know those were gunshots at first, he assumed it was just a music, and then it became clear moments later that this was in fact a shooting. That’s when he and his friends took cover, of course, and police arrived just a few minutes later.
Governor of Colorado called this a horrific, sickening and devastating incident, but again, investigators including the FBI, remain here on the scene. They’re going to be out here pretty much all day long, gathering evidence and trying to figure out what happened and how this could have happened. For now, we’re live in Colorado Springs. Brandon Richard, Denver 7.
Katie Lasalle (06:54):
Brandon, thank you for your reporting. Just absolutely heart wrenching and condolences have been pouring in all morning from our Governor, local leaders and officials regarding this tragedy. Also, Club Q where the shooting happened, released this statement overnight. They said, “Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community. Our prayers 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.”
Now, it is still too early in the investigation process to officially determine if this is officially a hate crime or attack. But we do know the FBI has been on scene since the early morning hours trying to figure out a motive from the suspect.
Jessica Crawford (07:34):
This situation in Colorado Springs will continue to develop all morning. We’ll keep you updated on air, online and on the app. We’ll be right back.