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Suspect in custody after mass shooting at gay nightclub in Colorado Springs

The suspect believed to have killed five and injured 18 in a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado is in custody, according to police.

The attacker’s motive isn’t yet clear, but the club’s owners believe it was a hate crime.

The gunman, who was identified by police as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, opened fire at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., just before midnight Saturday, police said.

He was quickly subdued by patrons at the club and taken into custody when police arrived a few minutes after receiving a call, authorities said.

“At least two heroic people” confronted the gunman and stopped the shooting, said Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, adding: “We owe them a great debt of thanks.”

Two firearms, including a “long rifle,” were found at the scene, according to Vasquez.

“My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” said Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected governor in 2018. He called the shooting “sickening.”

The attack was over within minutes. Police received numerous 911 calls starting at 11:56 p.m., and an officer arrived at midnight. The suspect was detained at 12:02 a.m., police said.

Several of the 18 people injured are in critical condition with gunshot wounds, officials said.

The suspect was being treated at a hospital, police said, adding that officers did not shoot at him.

In a statement, Club Q termed the shooting a hate attack.

“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club posted on its Facebook page. It said its prayers were with victims and families, adding: “We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

The attack was the sixth mass killing in the U.S. this month and comes seven months after the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

There have been 523 mass killings in the U.S. since 2006 resulting in 2,727 deaths as of Nov. 19, according to the Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the U.S.

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