COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In seconds, a tragedy unfolded early Sunday morning, Nov. 20 at Club Q in Colorado Springs. The overnight shooting left several dead and many others injured, with a suspect now in custody.
“The initial call for service was received at 11:56 p.m. last night [Saturday]. The initial officer was dispatched at 11:57 p.m.,” said Lt. Pamela Castro, Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD).
Within minutes the shooting was stopped by the quick action of heroes, both in uniform and not. At least two people inside Club Q fought and subdued the suspect, according to police.
“The first officer arrived in the area at 12:00 a.m. and the suspect was detained and subsequently taken into custody at 12:02 a.m.,” said Lt. Castro.
Officers from all four patrol divisions in Colorado Springs responded and within minutes, dozens were on the scene to assist.
“I am so terribly saddened and heartbroken. I also want to thank all of our first responders; our fire department, our police officers, the Sheriff’s Office, all of our medical personnel — whether they be transporting through AMR and other ambulance services, and all of our hospitals did a tremendous job during this undertaking,” said Cheif Adrian Vasquez, CSPD. “Thank you so much for all you do every day.”
The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) responded within seven minutes upon receiving the first call for help, and Chief Randy Royal of CSFD said its firefighters were immediately able to enter the building to assist, because of the swift action from police.
“I do want to give a shout-out and thanks to the police department for their actions, we have a great working relationship with them, but their actions directly made an impact on saving lives,” stated Chief Royal, CSFD.
First responders have been training in the case of an event like this, and it was all hands on deck.
“We had 34 firefighters that ended up being on the scene, and with the 34, we had 11 ambulances that did respond to the scene; from AMR, CSFD, and county agencies that helped out in this,” said Capt. Mike Smaldino, CSFD.
Victims were transported to three different hospitals; seven were taken to Penrose Main, 10 were taken to Memorial Central, and two were taken to Memorial North.
According to CSFD, ambulances would take up to three patients at a time after firefighters determined the most critical during its triage process.
“Additionally there were a few police cruisers that were transporting patients and this was all to the benefit of the survivability of the men and women that we were working on,” said Chief Royal.
Training for mass casualty events is now common practice and first responders put their practice into action on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, these are events that we do train for, as far as what we call a ‘mass casualty,’ so that is why we had such a big response,” said Capt. Smaldino.
According to CSPD, five people were killed in the shooting at Club Q and 25 others were injured. The 22-year-old suspect was taken into custody, and he is currently being treated for injuries at the hospital.