They are “heroes”, in the words of the police officers in charge of the case and several witnesses. Heroes, still anonymous, who undoubtedly saved the lives of many people on Saturday evening in the United States, in Colorado Springs. It was not yet midnight when patrons of an LGBT nightclub saw a man arrive with a semi-automatic weapon. He starts shooting at the crowd. This shooting, let us remember, took the lives of five people who came to celebrate. Twenty-five others were injured, according to the latest report.
Since then, the American media have gone in search of testimonies. Many of them, if not almost all, salute the bravery of two men who risked their lives to put an end to this shooting by throwing themselves on the shooter. “There were very brave people who beat him and hit him, preventing him from doing more damage,” bartender Michael Anderson, who died that night, told AFP. I don’t know who did this. But I would really like to know because I’m very grateful. They saved my life last night.” Fearing being targeted, Anderson crawled into the yard where he and a colleague took refuge between a wall and a cubicle, looking for some form of protection.
Facts from 2001 come to the surface
John Suthers, the mayor of Colorado Springs, also returned to the course of events with the New York Times. One of the two men would have seized the shooter’s rifle and then hit him with it before pressing him to the ground, he says. “Everything happened very quickly. The individual was completely subdued two minutes after midnight,” the mayor said, adding that everything seemed to point to the fact that it was “a hate crime” even though the police have not yet officially given the motive. of the attack.
VIDEO. Shooting in the United States: at least 5 dead in an LGBT nightclub
The Washington Post tells a similar story. The police were called at 11:57 p.m. and the first officers arrived on the scene three minutes later. Anderson Lee Aldrich, the 22-year-old suspect, had already been subdued. “I saw what I think was probably the shooter lying on the floor, being beaten, kicked and shouted at by two very brave people,” our bartender said again, this time with the CNN channel. He says today that he hopes one day to know the identity of the two saviors, whom he would like to thank.
Investigators are now trying to trace the thread of this tragedy. A 21-year-old man with the same name as Anderson Lee Aldrich threatened his mother with a pipe bomb and multiple weapons last year in a town 30 minutes by car from Colorado Springs, the sheriff’s office reports. of El Paso County. According to CNN, which cites two legal sources, it is indeed the same person. Negotiators then managed to get him out of the house he was in before being arrested. This case, which is resurfacing today, raises questions on the other side of the Atlantic. One wonders if this tragedy simply could not have been avoided.
“We must not tolerate hatred,” President Joe Biden reacted on Sunday, while Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor elected in the United States, said he was “horrified and devastated”.