Officials in Illinois are reacting to a horrific crime in Colorado, with a gunman opening fire inside of a gay nightclub in an attack that left five people dead and at least 25 injured.
While police are continuing to investigate the shooting, with took place at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Illinois officials are expressing their shock at the brutality of the attack.
“We woke up again this morning to a horrible attack on the LGBTQ+ community, this time in Colorado – and in a space where they should have felt safe,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. “A gun, coupled with hate, once again has led to horrific outcomes.”
Police are still investigating whether the assault was a hate crime, and no motive has been determined.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Brian Johnson, the CEO of Equality Illinois, said that the attack was “heart breaking,” citing the observance of National Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday.
“It is heartbreaking on today, the day of remembrance when we honor our trans siblings that have been killed to also have to hold in (our hearts) what happened in a queer space last night,” he said.
Johnson says that heated rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community has caused a surge in violence, threatening the safety of millions of Americans.
“We know that LGBTQ+ people in our country are not as safe as we deserve to be,” he said in a statement. “We live in a time where anti-family and anti-equality politicians spew hate speech and attempt to strip away human rights”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also expressed his condolences.
“My heart is with the Colorado Springs community and the loved ones who are grieving because of another senseless tragedy,” he said.
The alleged gunman, identified as a 22-year-old man, is in police custody, receiving treatment for injuries he sustained after he was subdued by club patrons after he opened fire.
“This is a tragic day for our community, and we stand in solidarity with the victims and their families as we make sense out of a senseless crime,” district attorney Michael Allen said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed on the shooting, and the FBI is assisting with the investigation.