United States President Joe Biden and the first lady Jill Biden have called the owners of Club Q to offer their condolences following the Colorado Springs shooting on Saturday (19 November).
Anderson Lee Aldrich – whose lawyers have said uses they/them pronouns – faces multiple counts of murder and hate crime charges after the fatal shooting which killed five people and injured many more.
The five victims have been named as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance.
In a bid to support Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, who own Club Q in Colorado Springs, the Biden’s called them to offer their condolences and share their promise to fight against hate and gun violence.
The White House said: “They reiterated their support for the community as well as their commitment to fighting back against hate and gun violence.
“They also thanked Nic and Matthew for the incredible contributions they have made and will continue to make to Colorado Springs.”
Biden also called Richard Fierro, the heroic dad who with the help of others managed to take down the gunman and disarm him.
The boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, was one of the five victims tragically killed in the attack.
Following the shooting Biden condemned the “senseless attack” in an official statement, calling for an end to “violence against LGBTQI+ people”, as well as tougher laws on gun safety in America.
“Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing,” he wrote.
“We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history.
“We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color. And tragically, we saw it last night in this devastating attack by a gunman wielding a long rifle at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
“Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often.”
Grzecka previously said homophobic slurs such as “groomer” have “created a new type of hate” against the LGBTQ+ community.
Five days after the shooting, far-right Christian group Focus on the Family had its sign vandalised with graffiti reading “blood is on your hands” and “five lives taken”.
Aldrich, 22, has been held without bail following their first appearance in court.