“Heroic people” have faced a gunman who killed five people at a gay nightclub in the United States and prevented him from killing more, police said.
At least 25 others were injured at Club Q in the city of Colorado Springs.
Suspect named Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who was taken into custody and treated for his injuries.
In a news conference, officers said the gunman used a “long shotgun” and began shooting as soon as he entered the venue.
Adrian Vasquez, the city’s police chief, said: “At least two heroic people within the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others. .
“We owe them a great debt of thanks.”
Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers said their actions “clearly saved lives.”
He said the attack ended when someone grabbed a gun from the suspect and hit him with it, before holding him until police arrived.
“Had that individual not intervened, this could have been exponentially more tragic,” he said.
At least two firearms were found at the scene and the FBI is assisting in the investigation, Vasquez said.
His agents are working to identify the dead and determine if anyone helped the suspect.
Jared Polis, the governor of Colorado, who is gay, praised “the brave individuals who stopped the gunman,” describing the attack as “horrible, disgusting and devastating.”
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President Joe Biden said, “Places that should be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence.”
It is the 26th American mass shooting this month, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which records gun-related violence in the United States.
There have been 601 mass shootings in America this year, which is a steady increase, year over year. In 2014 there were fewer than 300.
This year, nearly 40,000 Americans have been killed in gun-related incidents, including homicides, accidents and suicides.
A mass shooting is defined as one in which four or more people are killed or injured.
The venue called the shooting a “hate attack”. It said, “Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community.
“Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the victims, their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of the heroic customers who subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
The initial phone call reporting the shooting came at 11:57 pm local time, Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Pamela Castro said.
Eleven ambulances and 34 firefighters attended the scene, with the crash being described as “a mass casualty event”.
Lt. Castro said officers were able to enter the club immediately.
The area around the nightclub, located in a strip mall on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, has been closed.
Club Q describes itself as an “adult gay and lesbian nightclub that hosts themed nights”, with events including karaoke, drag shows and DJ sets.
After the karaoke on Saturday night, there was a DJ set and dance starting at 9:00pm local time, which should have continued until 2:00am.
In 2016, a gunman opened fire at an Orlando gay nightclub, Florida, killing 49 people before being shot dead by police. More than 50 others were injured.
Considered an act of terrorism, the shooter, Omar Mateen, 29, had declared allegiance to the Islamic State.
At the time, it was the worst mass shooting in recent US history.