Local leaders respond to fatal shooting at Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub

Local leaders condemned the devastating shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub that left five dead and 18 injured. 

A 22-year-old gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing and injuring several people he was subdued by "heroic" patrons and arrested by police who arrived on the scene within about five minutes, police said Sunday.

"The attack on the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs is heartbreaking and infuriating, but we don't have to live like this," wrote Sen. Patty Murray. "Every leader has a responsibility to speak out against dangerous, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric—and we need strong federal gun safety laws now."

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, who co-chairs the Transgender Equality Task Force, issued the following statement:

"I am horrified and heartbroken by the deadly shooting in Colorado Springs. Once again, an entire community is left devastated and traumatized by the senseless epidemic of gun violence in our country," said Jayapal. "My heart goes out to the people whose lives were taken far too soon, their families and friends, and everyone who was at Club Q last night. Night clubs like Club Q are supposed to be safe havens for LGBTQ+ people, where they can be free and safe to be themselves. And yet, Club Q, like Pulse before it, has become the site of hatred and violence."

"As we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance today and mourn and remember the trans people who were taken from us far too soon, we must recommit ourselves to the work of ending gun violence, transphobia, and homophobia in our country and saluting the resilience of trans people everywhere. I am the proud mom of an incredible trans child, and I will never stop fighting to make sure we build a better, safer, and more just society for her and for our entire beloved LGBTQ+ community in this country."

Sunday, Nov. 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance—an annual observance honoring the lives of people lost to anti-transgender violence.

The shooting occurred early Sunday morning, leaving some to speculate on the timing of the attack. Authorities are still working to determine a motive, as well if it escalates to the level of a hate crime, according to El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen.

RELATED: Colorado LGBTQ nightclub shooting: 5 dead, 18 hurt in attack at gay club, police say

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"While no motive of this violent attack is clear, we wish we lived in a world where diversity is widely embraced, but sadly we do not," wrote organizers from Seattle Pride. "It’s terrifying accounts such as this which remind us that intolerance, hate and violence aimed at the LGBTQIA+ community persists—and so our work continues. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones in this senseless attack, and we stand in solidarity with Colorado’s LGBTQIA+ community."

On Monday, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards ordered the Progress Flag to be flown at half staff over the city courthouse, saying:

"Over the weekend, a horrific incident resulting in the death of five people and 25 injured at a Colorado Springs LGBTQIA nightclub reached national news. Club Q has been a safe haven for Colorado Springs' LGBTQIA community, and this incident has had rippling impacts in our own community. Today, I have asked that the City of Tacoma raise the Progress Flag to half-mast over the Tacoma Municipal building to recognize and honor the lives cut short, and let our local LGBTQIA community know they have our support."