Cape Town – Yet another mass shooting has occurred in a nightclub in the United States, and this time five people lost their lives while 25 were injured.
According to USA Today, a 22 year old gunman entered a Colorado Springs LGBTQIA+ nightclub called Club Q just before midnight Saturday and open fire on the patrons.
According to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, the suspect in the shooting was identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich.
Authorities confirmed that Aldrich used a long rifle in the shooting and two firearms were found at the scene, Vasquez said in a statement.
In a Twitter post on Sunday evening, US president Joe Biden said he and his wife were praying for the families of the five people killed and for those injured in this senseless attack.
"While no motive in this attack is yet clear, we know that gun violence has a particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation,“ Biden said.
El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said investigators were looking into all possible motives and whether the attack should be prosecuted as a hate crime, according to USA Today.
Authorities say charges against the suspect “will likely include first-degree murder”.
On Sunday evening, the Colorado Springs Police Department said after Saturday evening’s shooting it would be hosting a community resource expo to provide community members with support in navigating the variety of emotions surrounding the tragedy.
The expo will be held at the UCCS Kevin W. O’Neill Cybersecurity & Research Center, 3650 North Nevada Avenue, the department said.
The expo will provide mental health resources, spiritual support, emotional support animals, childcare, emergency financial resources, LGBTQ+ support, meals and other services.
Security for all attendees will be provided by uniformed Colorado Springs police officers.
Police authorities say the event is designed to be an inclusive and safe space for all community members to gather, grieve, and obtain emotional support.
The US has long been plagued by a serious gun violence crisis, with several mass shootings reported across the country in 2022 alone.
In 2016, 49 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida.