Monday, online court records show that the suspected shooter of an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs is facing multiple murder and hate crime charges. The suspect is the grandchild of outgoing California Assemblyman Randy Voepel.
The 22-year-old suspected shooter entered Club Q and immediately opened fire early Sunday morning. According to the Associated Press, he used an AR-15-style semi-automatic to fatally shoot 5 people and injure 19 others. Local Deputies say the shooting would have been more deadly had it not been for two brave clubgoers. The duo was able to stop the suspected shooter when one grabbed a handgun from the shooter then hit him with it. Afterward, that clubgoer and one other person were able to pin him down until the police arrived.
A makeshift memorial is now growing outside of the club. Support is coming from all over, including survivors of an all too similar shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2016. The rainbow flag commemorating Pulse nightclub victims is now headed to the memorial site in Colorado Springs as a sign of support.
Now activists are calling on lawmakers to enact legislation for LGBTQ people. The anti-gun violence organization Giffords stated the deadly shooting was part of a political system of hate and violence. The organization is calling on Congress to pass the Disarm Hate Act. The bill aims to prevent hate-motivated violence—no response yet on if the bill will be enacted. President Joe Biden and the First Lady have responded to the shooting. The President spoke with Colorado’s governor. First lady Jill Biden issued a statement saying: “It just hurts our hearts really that this keeps going on and on. I just know it sounds hollow to say our hearts and prayers are with them.” Biden says she did not know if or when the President would visit Colorado.