Police in Colorado Springs reported Saturday just before midnight, a 22-year-old gunman entered Club Q and immediately began to open fire, killing 5 people and injuring 25 others.
According to Colorado Springs Police, the killer used a long rifle and had two other firearms on him. At least two patrons of the club confronted him and took him down before police arrived, preventing him from doing even more harm.
"We owe them a great debt of thanks," Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said.
"Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens."
"Every citizen has a right to feel safe and secure in our city, to go about our beautiful city without fear of being harmed or treated poorly."
Joshua Thurman, who was at Club Q for his birthday, recounted his experience to news station KRDO.
Thurman said that initially, he thought the shots fired were part of the music as no one screamed for help.
After hearing more shots, Thurman recalled that he ran back to the dressing room.
Another patron followed him and a drag performer, Delusional, was already in the dressing room.
"I made them lock the doors and we got down on the ground and cut off the lights immediately."
Thurman said that they heard everything happening as they were hiding from the gunman.
"We heard more shots fired. We heard the assailant being beat up by someone I assume that tackled him."
"We heard the police come in. We heard them yelling at him."
You can watch the emotional interview below.
Witness inside Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub during mass shootingyoutu.be
Thurman also shared of Club Q:
"This is our only safe space here in the Springs, and so for this to get shot up..."
"What are we going to do now? Where are we going to go?"
Thurman revealed that Club Q was the only LGBTQ+ space in the entire city.
"How are we going to feel safe in our city?"
Many poured out their love and support for Thurman and others who were affected by this awful tragedy.
Many also shared their despair and outrage that these senseless and hateful acts continue to occur.
Club Q took to social media to respond to the tragic event, saying that they were "devastated by the senseless attack on our community." They also shared their appreciation for the "quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack."
Governor Jared Polis ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff statewide to honor victims of the shooting from Monday through Saturday.
"Flags will be lowered for five days to remember each of the five individuals who lost their lives in this senseless tragedy."
"To further honor and remember the victims and those injured in this tragedy, the Polis-Primavera administration will also be flying the Pride flag at the Colorado state capitol for the next five days."