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El Paso Stonewall Democrats host vigil for victims of LGBTQ nightclub shooting in Colorado

EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Stonewall Democrats and other Borderland LGBTQ organizations hosted a vigil for the victims of the Colorado nightclub shooting that left at least five people dead and 18 wounded.

The vigil was held at Upper Tom Lea Park at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday night.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Colorado Springs, Colorado. We are sending you
love and prayers, and we offer you our voices and support. As a member of the Queer Community, I understand the fear, anger, and pain that you are feeling all too well," Wesley Lawrence, President of the El Paso Stonewall Democrats, said in a press release.

Police in Colorado Springs said a 22-year-old man entered Club Q, a LGBTQ nightclub, and immediately opened fire. Patrons at the bar stopped and disarmed the shooter.

Authorities say the shooting lasted for just a few minutes, but the gunman was able to kill at least five and injure another 18.

The shooting happened on the eve of Transgender Remembrance Day.

"This Vigil will be to show that El Paso stands with our brothers and sisters in solidarity and in denouncing the hate that has came to their community," the release from Lawrence said.

"We need to provide very clear messages that no city will allow this, no community will tolerate this kind of behavior toward any group of people, regardless of who they are," said Executive Director and Founder of Borderland Rainbow Center Brenda Risch.

Lawrence told ABC-7 there are existing efforts in El Paso to protect members of the LGBTQ community.

"I'm working with County Judge Samaniego to build an Office of Equality here in the City of El Paso which will ensure that queer people in El Paso, number one, have a voice, but number two that it will always and forever be safe for queer people here in El Paso."

The Borderland Rainbow Center encourages anyone who believes they are the victim of a hate crime to call the FBI, and welcomes anyone in need of LGBTQ affirming support to utilize their services, more information for which can be found at https://www.borderlandrainbow.org/

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Dylan McKim

Kerry Mannix

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