Colorado Springs: Officials provide update on deadly shooting at LGBTQ nightclub

Comment Chief Adrian Vasquez will talk first, followed by Carter Springs Mayor John Suthers. District Attorney Michael Allen and Carter Springs Fire Department Chief Royal will also have some words. I’ll then come back up. We’ll take a couple of questions. In regards to the information that we share with you today, please understand that this is very early in a complex and ongoing investigation. So there are some things that we simply cannot talk about for various reasons. There were some questions that I was asked earlier this morning when we did our initial briefing on scene. I wanted

to provide some of that information to you guys now. The initial call for service, which is what we define as when a citizen calls in to the communication center at the Carter Springs Police Department, was received at 1156 and 57 seconds PM last night. The initial officer was dispatched at 11:57 PM. The first officer arrived in the area at 12:00 AM. And the suspect was detained and subsequently taken into custody at 12:02 AM. Please understand that all of the numbers that we are providing are preliminary. They are changing. We have had additional people drive themselves

to the hospital. So everything that we’re giving you is the information we have at this moment to the best of our knowledge, but it is subject to change.

If you were not at the initial briefing. The numbers will be shared with you again today. With that, I will have car, springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez. Well, good morning, everybody. Thank you for being here on this tragic day. I want to 1st express my condolences to those families who have lost the loved ones during this tragic event and to those that were injured. Today during this

tragic shooting. I want every citizen in our city to know that the men and women of the Colorado Springs Police Department stand with you during this tragedy. We are working tirelessly to ensure that justice for the victims in this senseless and evil shooting is given. Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens. Every citizen has the right to feel safe and secure in our city. To go about our beautiful city. Without fear of being harmed. Or treated poorly. I’m so terribly saddened and heartbroken. I also want to thank all of our first responders.

Our fire department, our police officers, Sheriff’s Office. All of our medical personnel, whether they be transporting through AMR and other ambulance services and all of our hospitals did a tremendous job during this undertaking. Thank you so much for all that you do every day. We are actively processing the scene at Club Q. Initial evidence and interviews indicate that the suspect entered club club queue and immediately began shooting at people inside. As he moved further into the club. While the suspect was inside of the club, at least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought

with the suspect and were able to stop, stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. We owe them a great debt of thanks. As the investigation is still in its early stages, we are not going to identify any of the witnesses inside of the club at this time. The FBI is already on scene and assisting with the investigation. We are also working to identify the victims who have died and notified their families. Please be patient with the identified identification of the victims as a first priority is to the victims families. We have numerous

detectives and officers interviewing witnesses and victims. We have multiple victim advocates also meeting with the victims who have been injured. These advocates will be will also be meeting with the families of those victims who have died. The suspect has been identified as Anderson Lee Aldridge, a 22 year old male. At least two firearms were found at the scene. We are still working to identify the firearms and who and who they belong to, but I can confirm that the suspect used a long rifle during the shooting. Detectives are currently seeking multiple search warrants, so Please be

patient with release of information as this is a large and complex scene and will be time-consuming to process. Detectives are also looking to identify or if there were any other individuals who assisted the suspect. The motive of the crime is part of the investigation and whether this was a hate crime is part of that investigation. Again, my deepest condolences to the victims and to their families. And with that, I’d like to introduce Mayor John Suthers. Thank you, chief. Colorado Springs is once again in mourning after the tragic shooting at Club Q last night. Our hearts

go out to the victims. And their families, who are bearing the weight of this horrific tragedy. As indicated, there is much we are still waiting to learn. About this tragic incident. We know one or more patrons heroically intervened to subdue the suspect. And we praise those individuals who did so because their actions clearly saved lives. We also thank our first responders from across the Pikes Peak region who quickly responded to help those in need. The first officer arrived on scene within 3 minutes after being dispatched. And the suspect was subdued within two minutes after that.

Victims were rapidly transported and received emergency attention as quickly as possible. We are a strong community that has shown resilience in the face of hate and violence in the past. And we will do so again. As a community, we’ll provide for the victims and witnesses. Of this horrific event. And law enforcement will pursue this case with the zealousness that it deserves. We will continue to share more information with the Community as it becomes available. But Please be patient. This is a horrible crime. And we have a suspect in custody. We must do this right and

ensure justice is served for the victims of this tragedy. The Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis. Has been in communication with me. We talked early this morning. Because he is in COVID quarantine. He is not able to be here personally at this press conference. But he sends his heartfelt condolences to the victims of this tragedy. I’ve also been in communication with Sir Michael Bennett, Senator John Hickenlooper. I’m also pleased that Councilwoman Nancy Henjum has joined us this morning. This is a community tragedy and our community will respond appropriately. It’s my pleasure now to introduce Michael Allen,

the District Attorney of the 4th Judicial District. Michael. Thank you, mayor. Good morning. My name is Michael Allen. I’m the District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District. This is a tragic day for our community and we stand in solidarity with the victims and their family members as we make sense out of a senseless crime. Every person, regardless of who they are, have the right to be secure from fear and physical harm, and actions taken to strike fear in specific communities will not be tolerated in our community. This is particularly true for communities that have been

maligned, harassed, and targeted by persons or groups to intimidate and cause harm to members of those communities. I commend the men and women of the Colorado Springs Police Department, Colorado Springs Fire Department, and AMR for their prompt response to this. Senseless act of violence, an act that has taken 5 lives and injured at least 18118 others. This act does appear to have been carried out by one person and I can tell you it does not define this community. The one person in custody currently is Anderson Lee Aldridge, 22 year old male. If additional suspects are

identified and arrested, we will share that information with the public at the appropriate time. This will be a coordinated effort with representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure this investigation is thorough and the eventual prosecution effort is both fair and firm. We will work closely with our law enforcement partners and the victims of this crime and their family members to achieve justice in this case. I can promise you that the DA’s office will put together a strong team and we will work tirelessly to

achieve justice on their behalf. At this stage, the DA’s office is serving in a support role as the investigation unfolds. In the coming days, the case will be transferred officially to our office. And we will work closely with CSPD to determine the appropriate level of charges for all identified suspects. There’s obviously a natural tension in cases that receive intense public interest for information while also recognizing the need for a fair judicial process. Investigative agencies and my office will share only certain allowable information during the investigation and subsequent prosecution effort, while also being diligent in answering

the need for information by this Community. I want to reassure the Community that there is no ongoing threat that we are aware of and that we will put every effort into holding any perpetrators involved with this rhetoric act accountable. At this point, I would be glad to introduce Colorado Springs Fire Department Chief Randy Royal. Thank you. Again, I’d like to echo the fact that this was a sad night in a terrible day for our community. I do want to shout out to or give a shout out, and thanks to the Police Department for their actions.

We have a great working relationship with them, but their actions directly made the impact on saving lives. And part of that was we have direct communications with the CSPD when we’re on those scenes. And as soon as they had the suspect in custody, we were able to move our folks in our paramedics and firefighters. To start triaging and treating patients. We did not do it alone. An event like this takes the whole community and we additionally use some regional partners. We had transports from American Medical response, from CSFD units, from county units which included Monument,

Falcon Fountain and Security ambulances as well and they also helped us cover the rest of the city while this event was going on. Additionally, there were a few police cruisers that transported patients and this is all to the benefit of the survivability of the the men and women that we were working on with those patients. We dispersed them to three different hospitals. Penrose Hospital received seven of the patients, memorial and or memorial. Central received 10 and memorial N received 2. Our units were dispatched about 7 minutes, arrived on scene about 7 minutes after notification. And

again, with the Colorado Springs Police Department subduing the victim quickly and getting them cleared, for us to come in in a lot of circumstances like this would have been probably twice as long for us to get in there and start treating. And this one is as soon as we are on scene, we’re able to move in there. Thank you again for the time. We’ll have an additional person who’s been able to join us. Mr Colfin, again with the US Attorney’s Office, is going to come up and give some comments too. Good morning. I’m Cole Finnegan,

the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. On behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice, I want to 1st offer our deepest condolences to the victims and to their families. And our our sorrow for the tragedy that has unfolded here and our thanks to everyone. We will work closely with District Attorney Michael Allen, with local law enforcement, with Mayor Suthers and everyone in the Colorado Springs community and in Colorado. Ensure. That the person who did this is brought to justice. We will work together. And move forward. Thank you. So

at this time, we’ll take questions. I would also like to acknowledge that FBI asac, Leonard Carolo is here as well as representatives from Penrose Hospital. If there are questions that would be specifically and best answered by them. Again, I just Please remember that this is very early in the investigation, Sir. Doctor. OK. So the question was, is this being investigated as a hate crime and how many people were in the club at the time of the shooting? Both of those are part of the investigation. With it being so early, we’re not at a point where

we can label some this investigation as that. That’s part of the investigation. How many people as part of the investigation as well, there were numerous officers who initially responded. We had 39 patrol officers who responded from all four of our patrol divisions to this. They have interviewed numerous people along with the detectives, but having an actual number of how many people were in there will take a bit, ma’am. F. For any. Their interactions with law enforcement will also be part of the investigation. The suspect. It does not. We separate the suspect from the victims who

are injured. The suspect. So when he would be released is a medical decision that wouldn’t be proper for me to to speculate on when the doctors will make that decision. And then your second question repeat for me. The suspect. Correct. They are at a local hospital and the extent of injuries I do not have. Yes. Are if they were injured to our knowledge and they were not, we’re still trying to identify and speak to everybody. That’s the first I’ve heard. If there were miners at the event, I do not know about that. Stuff that. To

yes. Well. So would you like to come up for Penrose and speak to them? And then we also have. Somebody to be able to speak from UC Health Memorial Hospital doctor Steinbrenner. Hello, I’m doctor Bill plough, the chief medical officer for Penrose Hospital. And this my colleague Dr State David Steinbrenner. We work together of UC health, correct? So I can speak for Penrose Hospital. We’ve taken care of of seven members of our community to remain in critical care but are in excellent hands. The other five patients mainly had extremity injuries and two have already been.

Treated and released back to the community and then the others have been admitted to the hospital are still undergoing treatment for that. Increases light directly. Critical implies life threatening, but I’m not in a position to share more about their specific injuries. Very similarly, we we take care of the patients, they go into the ICU, they have injuries from multiple gunshot wounds and the like. What the nature of those injuries are though, we’re all precluded from talking about because of HIPAA and the requirements to keep confidentiality about that. But we do want to give you some

information that we have both trauma teams at both hospitals were spun up and responded. The ER responded and were able to take care of this very rapidly and get the patients taken care of as well as we could at the time, so. We ended up having 10 total. We are currently taking care of 10 patients in the hospital right now, as I understand it. Now, we do have patients in critical condition as well, but like anything else, it’s a moving target and there’s a lot of personal information about people. So we try to keep that

to a minimum. But we have people that are taken care of and we have all of our physicians actively taking care of everybody as appropriate depending upon their injuries. Any questions? So go ahead and the question is how many people do we have in critical condition currently right now, I don’t have a specific number for that exactly, but we have several people who are being taken care of in our ICU at the moment, so. Yeah. Understand. What will the FBI? Both involved. FBI’s not gonna just take over everything. Could you explain who doesn’t what? So

I’ll talk about the investigation and the DL and could kind of come up and talk about prosecution if that works. So the question is what role does the FBI play and then what role does CSPD play from an investigative perspective? We’ve always had an incredible relationship with the FBI. We have a lot of resources that bring to bear for the investigation. So our our detectives from our violent crimes unit, our homicide unit. Will take on the lead role from the investigative process. However, the FBI also has a tremendous amount of resources in investigation as well

as crime scene processing as an example. So we we will come together, work together and and process the scene and just utilize both resources. However, CSPD is the lead from an investigative perspective and then DL and can speak on prosecution. So it’s it’s always fantastic that we have a really good relationship with our federal partners, both coal finnigan’s office and the FBI. It is fairly routine that if there are any FBI agents involved in the investigative process, they will serve as witnesses in the state prosecution. And I can tell you that we have a strong

interest in prosecuting this case in the Community. It’s important that this community see that this perpetrator is held accountable appropriately for his actions. It’s also worth noting though that everybody that’s charged with crimes as will happen in this case is. Presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s always important to include that caveat. There was a previous question about hate crimes investigation aspect. This will be investigated and is being investigated in that lens. But I can tell you that the current bias motivated crime statute in the state of Colorado provides some

elevation but will not elevate beyond what will likely be charges in this case, which will likely include first degree murder, extremely difference murder, those types of charges. After all, Class 1 felony murder charges, so the bias motivated crime statute doesn’t really come into play in this case because it doesn’t elevate it beyond what we have is the very top level charges. As to your question though about the the federal involvement, I hope that answered your question. Cheap basket. So there was an Anderson Lee. You know bomb. You know this is the same individual and. Spell

the individuals full name. So we’re our investigators. Our detectives are looking into the history of of Mr Aldridge at this point in time, however, I don’t have that information with me. His full name is let me find it in my notes here. Yeah, the question is in essence, were there other investigations prior to this one with this individual and? His name is Anderson Lee Aldrich ALDRI, CH22, year old male. I Don. So the the question about prior potential incidents involving the same individual, there are certain protocol that we have to follow and so when we

can release information on that, we will. There’s no further information that we can release as it relates to the prosecution investigation as it relates to any prior cases of interest. The question was whether was there a bouncer at the door or some type of security at the door. That’ll be part of the investigation. Anything. That was worded very similar to the motive for it just wasn’t posted on social media. And again, that’ll be part of the investigation. Sure. Just confirming. They were shot. No one got the tramp. We do have some injuries that were as

a result of people fleeing. I don’t know for sure that all 18 were shot. We have had more walk in to the hospitals right now the number is 18. As we progress and if those numbers change, we’ll get those to you. Yes, Sir. Sorry, the question was, are there alcohol or drugs involved with the suspect? That would be part of the investigation, ma’am. Not at this time. As everybody has said, our very first priority is notifying the victims, families and the next of kin at once. That’s done, the process in our state is that the

El Paso County Coroner’s Office will determine cause and manner of death, but we will get that information out as quickly and as reasonably as we can with respect to the family. You’re fine. The question was how many shots were fired. That’ll be part of the investigation. That would not be something that we would be at liberty to say at this point in time, but it is part of the investigation is any statements that the suspect or any witnesses say, yes, Sir. I don’t know, but that would again would be part of the investigation, ma’am. A

part of the investigation. The question was does the suspect have a high capacity magazine. The prior question was was anything said before entering the club? Again, all of that will be part of the investigation. Certified. We have one that has died at a local hospital. How many at the scene? Is there still processing? Are it’s all of our initial numbers at this point? Your question is, was there of a specific event at the club? I don’t have that information. This club is not a problem it it is a safe haven for members of our community

so we are all shocked and saddened that this occurred here this last night. So I believe, dear Michael Allen already addressed any prior or past contact with law enforcement. And as I said, all of that’s part of the investigation. Anything else specific to what we’ve shared today? So if you can please follow our Twitter account, we will be sending out the next time we’re going to have updated information and if that’s going to be released through a press conference or through a news release for everybody, I will also get you names and spellings of all

the speakers that we’re here today. Thank you.

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