Club Q mass shooting stuns SF's Castro District; LGBTQ+ bars on heightened alert

"It's a sad story. It keeps on happening -- Colorado, Florida, and everywhere else"

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
LGBTQ+ bars in SF on heightened alert after Club Q mass shooting
The shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, is still difficult for most people to process including many in the Castro District.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In San Francisco's Castro District, people who work and live in the area are still stunned by the deadly attack in Colorado Springs. The shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub, just before midnight is still difficult for most people to process.

At Louie's Barbershop, barber Steve Halle says, "You don't try to think about it much you can't dwell on that."

Halle and others worry it may happen again.

"It shocking when you think about the violence. And the hatred you see," said Daniel Handler of San Francisco.

VIDEO: 'Master of Silly Business' among Colorado Springs mass shooting victims: What we know so far

Amid a Colorado Springs, Colorado shooting, patrons at Club Q hit the gunman with his own weapon. Anderson Aldrich has been ID'd as the suspect.

They say now is the time to come together.

"I think everyone on every community should try and support each other as much as they can and people who are suffering, people who don't feel safe, I think try and make yourself visible as someone who could be an ally. Or an advocate so people know there's someone to turn and somewhere to go," said Handler.

Across the street at Castro Coffee Company, owner Ken Khoury is deeply disturbed by the shooting that killed a handful of people and injured so many others.

"It's a sad story. It keeps on happening -- Colorado, Florida, and everywhere else," said Khoury. "It bothers me a lot. Why do you have to commit these heinous crimes against people minding their own business?"

RELATED: Bay Area LGBTQ advocates say Colorado Springs nightclub shooting likely fueled by anti-gay rhetoric

Around the Castro, there are numerous bars and clubs. Some owners say the shooting in Colorado Springs hits close to home.

The owner of the Lookout Bar says they have security seven nights a week, and that most of the larger bars in the Castro do too.

"I don't know what else we can do beyond what we are already doing," said owner Chris Hastings. "Because this isn't the first time it has happened. Because threats like this are something we hope we never have to deal with directly, but anticipate."

After the Pulse Club shooting in Orlando, Florida, Hastings said his staff started doing active shooter training.

"Which is unfortunate that is the reality of the situation we are dealing with," said Hastings. "I'm just hopeful that it just turns around and changes and we don't have to have situations like this. It's heartbreaking," said Hastings.

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