fbpx
The annual Global Impact Conference 2022 brings together visionary business leaders to revolutionize educational systems and inspire collaborative actionRead more APO Group announces content partnership with Pan-African broadcaster VoxAfricaRead more MainOne, an Equinix Company’s MDXi Appolonia Achieves Tier III Constructed Facility certification (TCCF), Now Most Certified Data Center in GhanaRead more United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warns rising tide of hunger, insecurity, and underfunding worsening gender-based violence risksRead more The Royal Thai Embassy presents the cultures of Thailand at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Festival in KenyaRead more Climate change is the biggest global threat, young people in Africa and Europe tell European Investment Bank (EIB), Debating Africa and Debating EuropeRead more $2 million in prizes awarded at Conference of the Parties (COP27) to African youth-led businessesRead more Africa and Europe’s top business and public sector leaders gather to chart Africa’s economic rebirthRead more Senegal to Host 8th All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), Tagged The Teranga EditionRead more The Thai delegation’s active participation at the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in KigaliRead more

‘I knew we were next’: Barman tells of Colorado club shooting horror

show caption
Ren Kurgis (left) and Jessie Pacheco pay their respects to victims of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Nov 21, 2022 - 02:44 PM

COLORADO SPRINGS — As barman Michael Anderson cowered on the patio of a nightclub, hiding from the gunman who was killing his friends and colleagues, he was convinced he was going to die too.

“I just felt alone, really alone and scared,” he said.

“I didn’t even have my phone with me. I was afraid I wouldn’t even get to say goodbye to my mother.”

Moments earlier he had been pouring drinks at Club Q, a long-established LGBTQ venue in Colorado Springs in the foothills of the US Rocky Mountains.

Earlier there had been a drag show to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and the music was pumping when he began hearing popping sounds.

“I looked up and saw a shadow of a tall person holding a rifle. I saw the gun plainly… and then the shots continued… round after round after round. It was absolutely terrifying,” he told AFP.

“I ducked down behind the bar. Glass was just flying everywhere around me, like there were just bullets breaking bottles and whatever else was back there.”

Penned in and scared he was going to be targeted, Anderson crawled out to a patio where he and a co-worker wedged themselves between a wall and a booth, seeking any protection they could find.

Inside, the gunman, later identified by police as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, was shooting indiscriminately at clubbers in a rampage that would leave at least five dead at 18 wounded, some of them critically.

And he wasn’t done yet.

“I saw a gun come out from the patio door, the barrel of a gun sticking out,” Anderson said.

“And that was the moment I was most terrified. Because I knew we were next.

“He was gonna find us.”

‘They saved my life’ 

What happened next has left Anderson eternally grateful to the people he describes as heroes.

Police say at least two individuals rushed at the shooter and overpowered him.

When Anderson next looked up, he saw the gunman pinned to the floor.

“There were some very brave people beating him and kicking him, stopping him from causing more damage,” he said.

“I don’t know who did that. But I really would like to know because I’m very grateful. They saved my life last night.”

The United States is no stranger to acts of horrific violence, but for Anderson and other members of the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs, a city of around half a million people, the threat seemed somehow remote.

“The community here is tight-knit,” he said. “Everyone knows each other. We’re a family, you know where we come together.

“When I started at Club Q… my general manager told me: ‘you’re a part of our family. Now we’re here for you.’

“We always thought this could never happen here; never Colorado Springs, never Club Q.

“But maybe that’s something we tell ourselves so we can go out and feel safe.”

Anderson said he hopes the gunman will spend the rest of his life in prison, living with the full horror of his actions.

And America, he said, needs to be kinder.

Less than two weeks after an election in which several candidates amped up their anti-gay, anti-trans rhetoric in the rush for votes, politicians need to rethink their strategy, he said.

“The people spewing that may think that it’s harmless, and it’s just part of their culture war, but their culture war has real consequences I’ve seen firsthand.”

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

LMBCNEWS.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.