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Police: 5 dead, 18 injured in Colorado nightclub shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub late Saturday, killing five people and wounding 18 in the latest mass shooting in the country in a year that has seen anti-gay rhetoric rise among extremists.

Lt. Pamela Castro of the Colorado Springs Police Department said police received a report of a shooting at Club Q at 11:57 p.m.

Castro said there is one suspect who was injured and is being treated. She said it was not yet clear if the gunman was shot by officers. She said the FBI is on the scene assisting with the case.

The police department tweeted that it planned to hold a press conference at the operations center at 8 a.m.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that hosts a “Drag Diva Drag Show” on Saturdays, according to its website.

“The Q Club is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club wrote on its Facebook page. He said his prayers were with the victims and families, and “We are thankful for the quick response of the heroic customers who subdued the gunman and stopped this hate-motivated attack.”

Colorado Springs is a city of about 480,000 people located approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of Denver and home to the United States Air Force Academy. The city has long been the epicenter of American evangelicalism. Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical Christian ministry, is located in Colorado Springs.

In November 2015, three people were killed and eight wounded at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city when authorities said a man opened fire because he wanted to wage a “war” against the clinic for providing abortions.

A motive for Saturday’s shooting was not known, but it brought back memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 people dead. And it happened in a state that has seen several high-profile massacres, including at Columbine High School, at a movie theater in suburban Denver in 2012 and at a Boulder supermarket last year.

In June, 31 members of the neo-Nazi group Patriot Front were arrested in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and charged with conspiring to riot during a Pride parade. Experts warned that extremist groups could see it anti-gay rhetoric as a call to action.

Last month, a fundamentalist pastor from Idaho told his small congregation in Boise that gays, lesbians and transgender people should be put to death by the government, echoing similar sermons by a fundamentalist pastor from Texas.

As of November 19, there have been 523 mass murders since 2006, resulting in 2,727 deaths. Associated Press/USA Today database of mass murders in the United States


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