Heartbroken and angry: Vigil held in Asbury Park to remember victims of Colorado Springs shooting

The shooting has raised alarms among the LGBTQ+ community across the country, including in New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Nov 21, 2022, 6:11 PM

Updated 607 days ago

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Members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies held a candlelight vigil at a community center in Asbury Park to remember the victims of a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The shooting happened over the weekend at Club Q. Five people were killed and others were injured. Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of the shooting. He is now facing murder and hate crime charges.
The shooting has raised alarms among the LGBTQ+ community across the country, including in New Jersey.
Monday night’s vigil in Asbury Park was held at QSpot – an LGBTQ+ community center. Those in attendance are calling on federal, state and local leaders to fully fund whatever it costs to protect centers like this.
The executive director of QSpot tells News 12 New Jersey that there is great sadness knowing that five more members of the LGBTQ+ community have been killed in “another senseless act of targeted violence.”
QSpot has put in a grant with the state to help with funding for safety fences, doors and cameras.
"We need to do everything we can to ensure that the people who come to QSpot are safe and secure because we are here to provide a safe and secure environment for people who come here to get support, services and social engagement,” says executive director John Mikytuck.
Authorities say there has been a rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric online and some experts have warned that it could lead to violence. The hope here is to also get money for staffing to secure the location for the 250 or so people who show up each week.
Those who attended the vigil say that they are tired of the hate directed toward the LGBTQ+ community.
“I am heartbroken, and I am so angry…this is what happens when violent rhetoric and anti-LGBTQ legislation are relentlessly directed at our community,” says Cathy Renna, of the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Gov. Phil Murphy and Attorney General Matt Platkin held a conference call on Monday with LGBTQ+ community leaders to assure them that there are no specific threats in New Jersey. But they told police officers to be vigilant for any potential situations.


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