(COLORADO SPRINGS) — As we mourn the lives lost at the Club Q mass shooting over the weekend, many may be wondering “Where do we go from here?”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez joined Abbie Burke on Tuesday to help answer some of those questions.
When asked about first reactions, Chief Vasquez said, “Making sure that our officers were responding to save lives. My first reaction is just to really make sure that we were responding appropriately, which we had done an amazing job with the fire department and other medical staff.”
He personally expressed horror and dismay at the shooting but commended his department’s and others’ quick responses to the tragedy.
Mayor Suthers said, “I had a little bit of a deja vu experience. In the first Thanksgiving week, when I was mayor in 2015, was the Planned Parenthood shooting and here, this is the last Thanksgiving week of being mayor and unfortunately, we’re in a similar scenario.”
Mayor Suthers and Chief Vasquez both commended Richard Fierro and Thomas James on their quick, life-saving actions.
“There’s no question in my mind, and I think the police and all their expertise agree, that had he [Fierro] not taken the aggressive action he’d taken, got this guy down and disabled, despite the very quick police response, just that, you know another 30 seconds, another minute, probably would have resulted in additional lives lost, so he clearly saved lives,” Mayor Suthers said.
Regarding the response of the Colorado Springs Police Department and how it’s been trained, Chief Vasquez was satisfied with his officers’ reactions.
“They showed in this example that they followed through and their training was effective by getting there within three minutes and immediately entering that building, that is the key to saving lives. Our officers did that,” Chief Vasquez said.
As for the suspicions that the man arrested in Lorson Ranch last year was the same as the shooter, Mayor Suthers could not confirm if they are the same person.
“I would urge the public to pay very close attention to this because I hope that in our future we’ll be able to discuss if in fact there was an incident and shine light on a legislative action taken by the Colorado Legislature in 2019, not very long ago. I think that that legislative action deserves some scrutiny, and I hope that will come about as this case proceeds,” Mayor Suthers said about the sealing of cases.
Mayor Suthers drew on his background to explain what will come next for the shooter and when to expect formal charges and court appearances.
“When this individual is out of the hospital and is arraigned, he’ll be given his rights, shortly thereafter, there will have another court appearance at which the district attorney will file formal charges. Within 30 days of that, a defendant facing these serious charges is entitled to what’s called a preliminary hearing,” Mayor Suthers said.
Help & Support
Mayor Suthers said of the hospitalized victims, “I think we have reason to hope that there will be no more fatalities.”
Mayor Suthers directed people who want to contribute financially to go to the Colorado Healing Fund and Chief Vasquez wanted the community to be aware of the resource expo available to all with some emphasis on helping the LGBTQ community.
The expo is located at 3600 North Nevada Avenue at the UCCS Kevin O’neil Cybersecurity Education and Research Center and will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, and Wednesday, Nov. 23.
“It is there to provide a lot of resources to anybody in the community that would like to go get those resources and there’s some focus on the LGBTQ+ community. It’s everything from financial aid to mental wellness, there will be child care there for those that want to bring children. There’s just a tremendous amount of support,” Chief Vasquez said.
In a final note, Mayor Suthers reminded the public that “the actions of one 22-year-old male don’t define this city. We’ll be defined by our response to this incident, and not the incident itself.”