NY's LGBTQ+ community thinking of Colorado Spring gay club shooting victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance
The hearts in New York's LGBTQ+ community were heavy for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance Sunday in the aftermath for a mass shooting at a gay club in Colorado Springs that killed five people.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day that is meant to honor the transgender lives that were lost due to hate and violence.
Authorities say a gunman in Colorado Springs opened fired in an LGBTQ+ night club early Sunday morning, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others.
Police identified and arrested 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich as the gunman who was subdued by the patrons inside the club after he allegedly fired multiple shots with a long rifle, according to the Associated Press.
As of Sunday, investigators were still trying to determine whether they can prosecute this act of violence as a hate crime.
In response, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that state police would increase protection for targeted people like the LGBTQ+ and Jewish communities, saying, "Here in New York, we will not tolerate violence or bigotry toward any community. We stand united against hate — today and every day."
However, local LGBTQ+ organizations said it takes more than lawmakers to protect vulnerable communities.
"New York is a safe haven, as safe as it can be. We have to recognize that we are also vulnerable to an attack like this. So we don't want to walk into this naive and believing that it can't happen here. It can, and community members need to come together, regardless of where you fit on the LGBTQIA community, making sure we keep us safe," said Sean Coleman, founder of Destination Tomorrow.
In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, Hochul also ordered landmarks across the state, like the Empire State building, to light up in colors of pink, white and light blue in support of the LGBTQ+ community.