President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden called the owners of Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., where last week a gunman killed five people and injured more than a dozen more.
The two offered their condolences to owners Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes, according to the White House.
The Bidens also voiced support for the LGBTQ+ community.
“They reiterated their support for the community as well as their commitment to fighting back against hate and gun violence,” the White House said on Friday. “They also thanked Nic and Matthew for the incredible contributions they have made and will continue to make to Colorado Springs.”
Grzecka and Haynes have said the attack on Club Q, which was a queer safe space in a conservative community, was a hate crime. The club opened more than 20 years ago.
Investigators are still piecing together a motive for the shooting. The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich has been held without bail. Prosecutors are weighing murder and hate crimes charges.
President Biden also called Richard Fierro this week. Fierro took down the gunman and, along with other patrons, held the gunman down until police arrived.
The boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter, Raymond Green Vance, was killed in the attack.
In a statement after the deadly shooting at Club Q, Biden said, “Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation, and threats of violence are increasing. We saw it six years ago in Orlando when our nation suffered the deadliest attack affecting the LGBTQI+ community in American history.”
We continue to see it in the epidemic of violence and murder against transgender women – especially transgender women of color. And tragically, we saw it last night in this devastating attack by a gunman wielding a long rifle at an LGBTQI+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.”
This week, Biden also reiterated his intention of passing legislation banning assault weapons. Republicans would be likely to block such a bill.