(JustPatriots.com)- President Joe Biden used the recent mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado over the weekend to condemn the attacks and gun violence in general.
On Saturday, suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, killed at least five people and injured another 18 when he attacked the Club Q in Colorado Springs.
No motive has yet been mentioned in the case, yet Biden connected it to the mass shooting that occurred at the Pulse nightclub in Florida that occurred six years ago — since both happened to the LGBTQ community.
As Biden said wrote in a response:
“While no motive in this attack is yet clear, we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years. Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing. We saw it six years ago in Orlando, when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history.
While no official motive has been released just yet, court records show that the suspect is facing five murder charges as well as five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. That would indicate quite clearly that investigators believe that Aldrich targeted people at Club Q because they were members of the LGBTQ community.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the charges were only preliminary, with no formal charges being filed in court as of yet. If prosecutors wanted to move forward with the hate crime charges, they would need to prove that Aldrich was “motivated by bias, such as against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” as the AP reported.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, also known as GLAAD, was one LGBTQ organization that immediately condemned the attacks. Sarah Kate Ellis, who serves as the organization’s CEO and president, submitted a statement to the Denver Post which read:
“You can draw a straight line from the false and vile rhetoric about LGBTQ people spread by extremists and amplified across social media, to the nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year, to the dozens of attacks on our community like this one.”
In his comments, Biden took it one step further, not just focusing on the fact that the attack happened at an LGBTQ club. He said:
“We must address the public health epidemic of gun violence in all of its forms. Earlier this year, I signed the most significant gun safety law in nearly three decades, in addition to taking other historic actions.
“But, we must do more. We need to enact an assault weapons ban to get weapons of war off America’s streets.”
At least two “heroic” patrons inside the club subdued Aldrich before he was able to shoot anyone else as police were responding to the scene.
One was Richard Fierro, a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Army and local brewery owner who was celebrating a birthday with members of his family when Aldrich “came in shooting.”
Fierro told the AP that during a lull in the shooting, he was able to run at the suspect, pull him down and then beat him severely. Fierro’s daughter injured her knee as she was trying to get cover as the shooting happened, while her long-time boyfriend, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, was one of the people who was killed.