(Colorado Springs) The man who opened fire at a gay bar in Colorado Springs, in the western United States, killing five overnight from Saturday to Sunday, could be prosecuted for murders and crimes motivated by the hate.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, arrested and still in hospital according to police, was suspected of having fired into the Club Q crowd using an assault rifle before being overpowered by two patrons. not yet formally charged.
Could be added to the counts of murder, those of crimes motivated by hatred against a sexual minority, indicated Monday on CNN Michael Allen, prosecutor of the county of El Paso, where is located Colorado Springs.
“We could use the fact that these victims were in a specific location, mostly frequented by members of the LGBTQ community, to advance to hate crime charges, but we are looking for other elements,” said he declared.
The suspect was effectively arrested on Sunday on suspicion of murder and hate crimes, according to court documents released Monday by the denver post.
A police press conference is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m.).
In this Colorado town at the gateway to the Rockies, bouquets of flowers, candles and signs emblazoned with “Love not Hate” messages littered the ground near Club Q, testifying to the shock and consternation caused by this shooting, one more in this America regularly struck by massacres with firearms.
Seventeen people were injured by bullets, the police said in a statement on Monday, to which is added another injured person, as well as “victims without visible injuries”.
It was shortly before midnight, in the night from Saturday to Sunday. A drag queen show had just taken place to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, dedicated to victims of transphobic violence and celebrated internationally on November 20, when the horror entered Club Q.
“I looked up and saw the shadow of a tall person holding a gun. I saw the rifle, ”said Michael Anderson, bartender of the establishment. “Burst after burst. It was absolutely terrifying. »
“I dived behind the bar. Glass was flying all around me like there were bullets smashing the bottles and whatever was there,” he continued.
The massacre, which only lasted a few minutes, ended thanks to the heroic intervention of two people who fought with the suspect, according to the police.
A man in particular seized the rifle of the shooter then hit him with it before pressing him to the ground, told the New York Times Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “Everything happened very quickly. The individual was completely subdued two minutes after midnight,” he said. Arrested, Anderson Lee Aldrich was taken to hospital, where he was still on Monday.
The identity of these two heroes was still unknown on Monday.
A 21-year-old man of the same name threatened his mother near Colorado Springs with a pipe bomb and multiple weapons last year, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office reported.
“It was supposed to be our refuge […] Where are we supposed to go? “, launched Joshua Thurman who was on the dance floor of Club Q when “he heard the shots” and managed to take shelter in the locker room.
President Joe Biden on Monday called Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor elected in the United States, who said he was “horrified and devastated”.
This attack comes six years after the worst mass murder in the LGBTQ community in the United States when an American of Afghan origin killed 49 people in a gay bar in Orlando, Florida.
It is also part of a context of political tensions around transgender issues, particularly during the campaign for the American mid-term elections.
“When politicians and pundits continue to circulate clichés, insults and misinformation about the trans and LGBTQ community, here is the result”, blasted Brianna Titone, the first transgender legislator elected to the House of Representatives of the United Kingdom, on Sunday. Colorado.
This umpteenth killing also illustrates the soaring mortality linked to firearms in a country where they circulate in very large numbers.
601 mass shootings have been recorded in the United States since the beginning of 2022, according to the organization Gun Violence Archive.
Any attempt at truly binding firearms legislation comes up against the very powerful lobbying of the National Rifle Association, which has powerful parliamentary levers.