Army veteran gives account of tackling Colorado Springs gunman
At least five persons were killed and 18 others sustained injuries when the 22-year-old suspect stormed into an LGBT+ nightclub just before Saturday midnight and opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle.
The suspect was taken down by an army veteran with the help of a trans woman who stomped on the suspect. “It’s the reflex,” Rich Fierro told reporters on Monday evening.
He said after recognising the shooter, he ran across the room, grabbed his weapon, and pulled him to the floor.
Mr Fierro said he then “proceeded to take his other weapon, a pistol, and just started hitting him wherever I could, but the armour was in the way.”
The police on Monday named the victims along with their pronouns. They have been identified as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.
Rage and sadness as Colorado club shooting victims honoured
Hundreds of people, many holding candles and wiping away tears, gathered Monday night in a Colorado Springs park to honor those killed and wounded when a gunman opened fire on a nightlife venue that for decades was a sanctuary for the local LGBT+ community.
At Monday night’s vigil, people embraced and listened as speakers on a stage expressed both rage and sadness over the shootings.
Jeremiah Harris, who is 24 and gay, said he went to the club a couple times a month and recognized one of the victims as the bartender who always served him.
He said hearing others speak at the vigil was galvanizing following the attack.“Gay people have been here as long as people have been here,” Harris said.
More details here.
Hundreds of people, many holding candles and wiping away tears, have gathered in a Colorado Springs park to honor those killed and wounded when a gunman opened fire on a nightlife venue that for decades was a sanctuary for the local LGBTQ community
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2022 11:30
Tucker Carlson plays down anti-LGBT+ motive in shooting
Fox News host Tucker Carlson played down the anti-LGBT+ hate that appears to be behind the mass shooting at a Colorado Springs gay club.
In the wake of the mass shooting, the right-wing news presenter brushed off the gunman’s motive, suggesting that the suspect was “clearly a troubled person”.
“So the most obvious question is why did he shoot 30 people? The truth is we don’t know,” he said during The Tucker Carlson Tonight show on Monday.
Read more here.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2022 10:30
Five victims identified in Colorado Springs LGBTQ club attack
The five victims who lost their lives in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub have been identified.
Police initially said 25 were wounded in the attack, but revised the figure down to 18 on Monday. Many suffered horrendous injuries and face a lengthy recovery.
The shooting sparked renewed calls for stricter gun laws and mourning throughout the LGBT+ community, which has been warning since the start of this year that increasingly violent political rhetoric about LGBT+ people could lead to deaths.
Here is what we know so far about the five victims of the Colorado Springs shooting.
Io Dodds reports.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2022 09:30
Police chief lists pronouns alongside victims’ names
In his press conference this afternoon, Colorado Springs police chief Adrian Vasquez made a point of listing the victims according to their gender identities, rather than whatever may have been on their official records.
“We respect all of our community members, including our LGBTQ community. Therefore we will be identifying the victims by how they identified themselves, and how their families have loved and identified them,” Mr Vasquez said.
He then listed the names of the victims alongside their pronouns.
Trans people frequently go through life with the wrong gender recorded on their birth certificates, passports, or other government records, often due to high barriers or costs to changing such documents.
Io Dodds22 November 2022 08:50
‘I just started waling away with his gun’
US army veteran Richard Fierro has given an emotional account of his bravery during the shooting, my colleague Oliver O’Connell reports.
Speaking to John Berman on the network on Monday night, Mr Fierro described what happened when the shooter began firing in Club Q on Saturday night.
He recognised that the shooter, 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich, was wearing a flak vest which has a handle on it and ran across the room, grabbed it, and pulled him to the floor.
Another person helped Mr Fierro bring Mr Aldrich to the ground and he told them to push the AR-15 rifle away.
“I then proceeded to take his other weapon, a pistol, and just started hitting him wherever I could, but the armour was in the way,” said Mr Fierro. “I found a crease between his armour and his head and I just started waling away with his gun.”
Io Dodds22 November 2022 07:43
How did the Colorado shooter get his guns?
How exactly did the alleged shooter get hold of his weapons despite Colorado’s ‘red flag’ law? The answer reveals various potential loopholes in the state’s gun laws.
Media reports suggest that the weapons wielded during the attack – a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun – were purchased legally, despite the suspect’s previous arrest in June 2021 for allegedly threatening his mother with a home-made bomb.
Though we don’t know exactly how the guns were bought, it is notable that the local sheriff’s office is opposed to Colorado’s “red flag” gun law and has declared itself a “Second Amendment Sanctuary”.
Io Dodds22 November 2022 06:36
Drag queen in heels helped army veteran subdue gunman
A former Army captain tackled the 22-year-old gunman who opened fire on an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs and beat the suspect unconscious as a drag queen in heels stomped on him.
Richard Fierro, 45, told the New York Times he was with family and friends at Club Q on Saturday night when the suspect burst in and began spraying the club with automatic gunfire.“I just knew I had to take him down,” Mr Fierro said.
As the army veteran shouted at others for help, he said that a patron moved the gunman’s rifle out of reach and a drag dancer began stomping on the suspect with her high heels.
Bevan Hurley has more.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar22 November 2022 05:30
MTG criticised for non-sequitur response
Far right Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been criticised for her response to the shooting, my colleague John Bowden in Washington DC reports.
Ms Greene’s two-tweet thread addressing the attack did not address the significance of the target, nor the wave of hate that right-wing political figures have directed at LGBT+ people and transgender Americans in particular over the past few years.
But what did raise some fury from left-leaning users on the platform was her choice to attack Mr Biden over the issue of fentanyl deaths and immigration in her response – rather a non-sequitur when the alleged shooter is a white American with family ties to a Republican state legislator.
Incidentally, the attack was stopped by a Hispanic former Army major who happily defines himself as an “immigrant”.
Io Dodds22 November 2022 05:30
‘The anti-trans hate machine’
A journalist who studies how right-wing politicians and media outlets whip up hate against transgender people says the Colorado Springs shooting was a “natural result” of current conservative rhetoric.
In an interview with The Independent earlier today, Imara Jones, the head of TransLash Media and a former Clinton Administration aide, said the groundwork for the attack had been laid by a vast “anti-trans hate machine” fuelled by big conservative donors.
“There is an interlocking network of money, politicians, nonprofit organisations, think tanks, and media organisations, both online and offline, that are working to fuel anti-trans hate in this country as part of a larger white supremacist enterprise,” said Ms Jones.
She described how hard-right think tanks such as the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom propagate “copy and paste” bills attempting to restrict trans rights across multiple states.
That in turn allows local politicians to turn trans rights into a cause célèbre, Ms Jones said, while friendly media outlets portray trans people as a threat to women, children, and traditional family values.
Together, she argued, these forces combine to galvanise extremist groups, stoking an atmosphere of paranoia and panic that can spur them to take direct action.
“It’s easier to minimise it and to dismiss it and to say that it’s [just] lone individuals who are disturbed, when the opposite is true,” she said. “There’s this entire subculture… it’s not an accident. Again, it is a natural consequence.”
Io Dodds22 November 2022 04:19
Suspect ‘had no relationship’ with his GOP politician grandfather
Sources close to California state legislator Randy Voepel have confirmed that he is the grandson of the Colorado shooting suspect, according to KCRA 3.
They added that the 72-year-old assemblyman had not tried to interfere in the investigation into alleged bomb threats by Mr Aldrich last year.
Mr Voepel has received death threats and calls to resign since Saturday night’s attack, although he cannot do the latter because he lost his seat in the midterm elections.
He has not yet made any official comment.
Io Dodds22 November 2022 03:14