COLORADO SPRINGS — Less than 48 hours after the shooting at Club Q, the owners of the nightclub gathered with community members to honor those killed at the bar during a candlelight vigil Monday night.
Five people were killed inside Club Q, a LGBTQ nightclub, late Saturday night after a gunman started shooting what police identify as a long gun.
Around 300 people came together outside of Club Q with candles and flowers to find healing in the community. Co-owners of Club Q Matthew Haynes and Nic Grezcka spoke to the mourners about their current state as the shooting remains fresh for many.
"There are no words. There are absolutely no words," said Haynes. "He [the suspect] took 20 years of community and the building and the family and turned what we had done in two minutes into this tragedy."
Haynes reiterated that people should leave politics out of the equation for now so that families and friends can grieve their loved ones.
"This is about the victims. This is about the five individuals that lost their lives in the building behind you. This is about the hundreds and hundreds of other people that have emotional injuries," he said.
Grezcka said the nightclub was not just a bar, but a community that was built by so many different people.
Others attending the vigil said they were shocked by how large it had grown in such little time since the incident. Maxwell Fruge, a former Club Q employee, said he came to the vigil to leave flowers but was stunned by the outpouring of support from the community.
"That was an emotional walk up to see this huge crowd of people. This is a really cool surprise to see how huge it is and how many people are here," he said.
Sawyer Straley works at ICONS, the only other LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs. She said the tragedy still seems surreal to her and many of her friends in the community.
"I can't believe that stuff like this really happens. You know, you hear about it, but so close to home, it's just like, I don't know. It feels like a bad dream," said Straley.
For now, the owners of Club Q said the community should lean on each other to get through this time of grief.
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