Cleveland LGBTQ community shocked by deadly mass shooting at Colorado nightclub

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:46 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Members of the Cleveland LGBTQ community is both shocked and saddened by a mass shooting that claimed the lives of five people late Saturday night at a nightclub in Colorado.

“It’s shocking in this day and age that we’d be going through another version of Pulse,” Russ Ricci told 19 News, referring to the deadly shooting at a Florida club in 2016.

Ricci is the bar manager at Twist Social Club, a popular neighborhood bar geared toward serving the LGBTQ community.

“Our main focus is to just make sure there’s a safe space for everyone to go,” he said.

He told 19 News he was at home when he heard about the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. In addition to the five fatalities, 17 people were wounded.

Ricci noted that Twist added extra security after the shooting at Pulse; he also suggested solutions to such hateful attacks could be found within the greater gun debate.

Tamika Devinity Jones with the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland released the following statement to 19 News:

“The Center is again heartbroken with the news of this senseless attack on our LGBTQ+ family in a Colorado Springs at Club Q. It is that more tragic that this occurred while observing Trans Day of Remembrance, an annual day of remembering those members of our queer community lost to violence.

“We are working with local LGBTQ+ organizations to come together to honor those who lost their lives this weekend and support our community with ample resources and outlets to grieve. The Center remains as always an affirming space that supports and provides for our Northeast Ohio queer community. We are here and simply will not be going anywhere.

“We can only continue to advocate for the protection of LGBTQ+ individuals, in particular the Trans community, who have seen an increase in violent hateful rhetoric that will only lead to violent hateful action if continued to given the platform for it. Together we are stronger and our resolve to achieve true social equity and now more than ever we must remain together.”

A suspect was arrested in the Colorado Springs shooting and is expected to face multiple murder and hate crime charges.