Statement on Colorado Springs Club Shooting
This past Saturday, America saw yet another mass shooting, this time at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A gunman, armed with a long rifle and a pistol, walked into the club full of patrons from the LGBTQIA+ community and began randomly shooting, killing five people, and injuring 25 others.
The club is located a little over 1,400 miles west of South Carolina’s westernmost point. Though the distance between our two states is great, the tragedy feels close to so many. Much remains unknown about this shooting, including full details about the suspect’s ideology and motive, but it’s clear this incident has affected members of the LGBTQIA+ community everywhere.
Since the shooting, our FBI Denver field office has been on the scene working alongside Colorado local, state, and federal law enforcement partners.
As the investigation continues, the FBI Columbia field office wants to remind our LGBTQIA+ population in South Carolina that they have a voice in addressing concerns about acts of violence. The FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice takes every instance of potential hate crimes seriously, and they are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.
Unfortunately, hate crimes are not always reported by victims for various reasons. We want to encourage victims of hate crimes to come forward and report these incidents to local law enforcement and the FBI.
No one should be subjected to crimes committed out of hate. The FBI will always aggressively investigate and seek federal charges against those who use their hate and biases to prey upon others.
If you believe you are a victim or a witness of a hate crime, you can report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI, or by submitting a tip at tips.fbi.gov.