‘Sadly it’s not surprising’: Local LGBTQ+ advocate reacts to Colorado Springs mass shooting
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Two days after a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ nightclub, killing five and hurting over two dozen others, local advocates for the community are speaking out.
The shooting is now being investigated as a hate crime.
“Unfortunately, them going out and having a fun time is not a safe thing for them to do,” Ron Richard, the president of PFLAG Providence, said on Monday.
PFLAG Providence, formerly known as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, provides support, education and advocacy for members of the community along with their loved ones.
“The tragedy is yet to come when we find out who these individuals are that were killed, and the individuals who were wounded and how their lives are now changed,” Richard said.
Saturday’s shooting happened on the eve of National Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Richard said Sunday night the group celebrated the lives of over 60 plus transgender people this year who died in the United States.
According to the latest statistics from the Human Rights Campaign, there are currently over 20 million members of the LGBTQ+ community right now in the country. That’s about 8% of the population.
“I think the conversation should be why did this attack take place and why were these people victimized,” said Richard.
Colorado officials said that in 2021, the suspect in the shooting was arrested for making a bomb threat against his mom but those charges were later dropped. No motives for the shooting have been released.
If you or a loved one is seeking support after the shooting, please click here to go to PFLAG’s website.