November 21, 2022 Mass shooting in Colorado Springs

By Mike Hayes, Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 9:59 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022
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4:20 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

El Paso County district attorney: Some evidence points to nightclub shooting being bias-motivated

From CNN’s Amanda Musa

An aerial view shows police tape around Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 21.
An aerial view shows police tape around Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 21. (Drone Base/Reuters)

Michael Allen, the district attorney for El Paso County said there is some evidence that the suspect in Saturday night’s mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub had animosity toward the community.

In Colorado, hate crimes are referred to as "bias-motivated" crimes, Allen says.

“We will review all of the evidence and make appropriate filing decisions in this case as it relates to any bias-motivated crimes, but it's important to note that five people lost their lives, so those murder charges are going to be by and large the top-end charges in this case,” Allen told CNN on Monday.

If the evidence in the case “supports bias-motivated crimes,” then the district attorney’s office will go ahead and file charges. 

“The location is some evidence. The fact that these victims were in a specific location that is predominantly frequented by members of the LGBTQ community… that is evidence and we can use toward the decision of bias-motivated crimes, but we're looking for other evidence as well as that,” Allen said.

When asked if officials had uncovered any social media accounts from the suspect, Allen said he could not answer that question. 

Allen also chose not to comment on where the suspect had bought the two weapons used in the shooting.

Meanwhile, Allen says the suspect is capable of speaking with law enforcement at this time but added, “I’m going to leave it at that. I don't want to infringe upon his right to remain silent." 

Allen says the suspect does have an attorney but did not name that attorney.

4:07 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

First lady Jill Biden says Colorado Springs shooting "hurts our hearts"

From CNN's Allie Malloy

Following the tragic shooting in Colorado Springs that left five dead at an LGBTQ nightclub Saturday, first lady Jill Biden said Monday it “hurts our hearts” that gun violence keeps going “on and on."

Asked about the shooting while receiving the official White House Christmas tree, Biden said: “It just hurts our hearts really that this keeps going on and on. I just know it sounds hollow to say our hearts and prayers are with them.” 

“Joe and I just feel ... we’re just heartbroken like the rest of America,” the first lady added.  

Biden said she didn’t know whether she and the president would visit Colorado. 

4:04 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

At least 5 dead, 19 injured in Colorado Springs nightclub shooting, police say in Monday update

From CNN’s Raja Razek

 A makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub continues to grow on November 21 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
 A makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub continues to grow on November 21 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Five people were killed and 19 injured after a shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub over the weekend, the Colorado Springs Police Department said.

Police clarified the number of victims Monday afternoon, saying, "We know many more community members were present at Club Q during the shooting, who may be victims with no visible injuries."

Here's what we know about the victims so far, according to police:

  • 5 deceased community members. 
  • 17 community members who are injured because of a gunshot wound. 
  •  1 community member who was injured, but not because of a gunshot wound. 
  •  1 community member who was a victim with no visible injuries.

Police also said that the suspect remains in custody at a local hospital, "so a photograph is not available at this time."

3:49 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

Colorado Springs shooting suspect’s grandfather is a California state lawmaker 

From CNN’s Majlie de Puy Kamp and Scott Glover

The grandfather of the shooting suspect in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is outgoing California Assemblyman Randy Voepel who’s been serving as a state lawmaker since 2016.  

Voepel was formerly the mayor of Santee, California. His daughter, Laura Voepel, is the mother of Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who was arrested Sunday on suspicion of opening fire in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. The shooting left at least five people dead and more than two dozen injured. 

Randy Voepel, who lost his reelection bid earlier this month, could not be reached for comment. It was unclear how much Voepel interacted with his grandson.

As a lawmaker, Voepel attracted attention when he compared the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol to the Revolutionary War. 

5:26 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

Biden spoke with Colorado governor this afternoon, White House says 

From CNN's Allie Malloy

President Joe Biden called Colorado Gov. Jared Polis this afternoon following the deadly shooting in Colorado Springs, the White House said Monday. 

Biden called Polis at approximately 2:22 p.m. ET. 

"The president extended his condolences and offered to provide support in any way that would be helpful. He committed to continuing to press Congress for an assault weapons ban because thoughts and prayers are just not enough,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One.

At least five people were killed and 25 were injured after a gunman’s attack at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub Saturday.

3:10 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

Rainbow flag commemorating Pulse nightclub victims to be sent to Colorado Springs, local official says

From CNN’s Hannah Sarisohn 

The owners of Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida will loan Section 93 of the Sea-to-Sea Rainbow Flag to Colorado Springs to display in its city hall in honor of the lives lost in the mass shooting at an LGBTQ bar, Colorado Springs City Council member Nancy Henjum told CNN in an interview on CNN Newsroom. 

The flag has been on display in Orlando since 2017, according to the city of Orlando

Section 93 of the flag has served as a tribute to the lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub shooting and a sign of support of freedom lovers worldwide.

Henjum said there will likely be a ceremony or acknowledgment when the flag is presented.  

3:01 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

Club Q bartender Derrick Rump was killed in the shooting, family confirms

From CNN’s Caroll Alvarado 

(Derrick Rump/Facebook)
(Derrick Rump/Facebook)

Derrick Rump, was among those killed in the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, his sister Julia Kissling confirmed to CNN. 

Rump worked as a bartender at the club along with Daniel Aston, who was also killed during Saturday night’s shooting. 

“They were in so many ways polar opposites, but worked so well together. They were just amazing and every bar should have a Daniel and a Derrick,” Tiara Kelley, who performed at the club the night before the incident, told CNN.  

When speaking about her brother, Kissling told CNN affiliate WFMZ that her brother “found a community of people that he loved really much, and he felt that he could shine there, and he did.”

“He made a difference in so many people's lives, and that's where he wanted to be,” Kissling said. 

“It's just surreal, still," Michael Kissling said. "They're still processing situation of what happened. They're still mourning the loss of their, her other son and her other brother a couple of months ago. And it's just, hate's never acceptable. It doesn't matter what you think in life, it's just, hate is never the way to go. And I just, we send prayers to all the families involved."

Rump was a native of Berks County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Kutztown Area High School in 2002, according to his sister.

2:04 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

Club Q shooting investigation will determine what federal response is warranted, US attorney says

From CNN’s Sara Weisfeldt and Amanda Watts

The US Attorney’s Office in Colorado is offering its “deepest condolences to the victims and their families” impacted by the Club Q shooting while working to determine “what federal response is warranted.” 

In a statement on Monday, US Attorney Cole Finegan said:

"We will work closely with District Attorney Michael Allen, with local law enforcement, Mayor Suthers, and the Colorado Springs community to ensure the person who did this is brought to justice," he added.

Numerous local and regional partners are working on the investigation, it added.


3:38 p.m. ET, November 21, 2022

Patron who left Club Q early says she heard shooting over the phone

From CNN's Jennifer Marnowski in Colorado Springs and Melissa Alonso in Atlanta

Alex Gallagher during an interview with CNN on Monday.
Alex Gallagher during an interview with CNN on Monday. (CNN)

Alex Gallagher had just left Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, about 20 minutes before a gunman opened fire killing at least five people—including two of Gallagher's friends, she told CNN.

Gallagher has several friends that work at the nightclub as performers and behind the bar. "I lost two of my friends and I know a few of them are currently in the hospital right now," she said Monday. She's not sure of the condition of her friends who are still recovering at the hospital.

On Saturday night, Gallagher was not able to get in touch with friends who were there so she left the club early. "I figured it was just best to have an early night—and thank God," she said.

Gallagher said she was driving home, and "got a call from my friend that was in the outdoor smoking area, and he was hiding—and I heard everything that happened."

"There was [sic] gunshots, people screaming. It was just horrible," she said. "I was crying, I was angry, I was confused...that this person did this."

Gallagher said she's "fed up" with the violence toward the LGBTQ community.

"We won't stand for this hate no more. We're fed up [with] being pushed around and bullied and getting hurt and killed because people just don't like the way we are," she said.

"We're not going to be pushed away," she said. "We are gonna be here no matter what you do."