At press time during the early morning hours of Monday, November 21, the latest reports from national news services confirmed five people were dead and more than 25 had been shot or injured in some manner during a terrorist style anti-LGBTQ shooting that took place at a popular community bar known as Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The town is also home to the notoriously anti-LGBTQ organization Focus on the Family.
Arrested for the attacks and multiple deaths was Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22.
Among the injured was Charlotte resident Barrett Hudson, who had only recently moved to Denver and was visiting Colorado Springs for the weekend when the attack occurred.
Multiple friends took to Facebook and other social media voicing their concerns for Hudson and sharing news of the tragedy.
One individual who described himself as Hudson’s best friend, confirmed that Hudson had been shot seven times but that there was no internal organ damage. He explained at that time Hudson was currently in surgery, had been for several hours and that he was expected to survive without complication, although he likely had a long road of recovery ahead.
Shortly before 11:30 p.m. in the evening on Saturday, November 19
Hudson had regained consciousness and recovered enough that he decided to give a Facebook conference to show friends he was on a much faster path to recovery than expected, and describe what had happened at Club Q.
“So I made it. I don’t know how the fuck I made it, but I made it. It was the second worst thing…” his voice trailed off momentarily before continuing.
“I just wanted to talk because I am bored as fuck, but I am doing amazing in my recovery. I have some pictures of my back but I haven’t posted them yet. I got shot seven times in the back with an AR-15,” he continued.
“The club had no security, there are more deaths than they’re telling everybody and the numbers keep going up. I’ve heard different things, I was there.
“Our community is targeted more than other[s]. Gays, transgender, Black Lives Matter, the hate comes after us more than other people.
“But I am doing really good. If I wasn’t doped up on all this medicine I would be crying in pain. So I’m going to tell y’all a little bit of the story.”
“I’ve still got blood all over me,” he announced abruptly as he glanced down at himself.
“We went to the club last night to go watch a drag show and some dude walked in with an AR-15 and started shooting people and I got shot seven times in the back. I fell down, he kept shooting me. I got up, I ran to the back door, I hopped on a table – and all this was with seven bullets in me – to climb a fence, and I think the fence had barbed wire on the top of it. I’m not sure. I went about 30 yards after that. I had to jump down from a first floor parking garage. I jumped down and my knees are all busted up.
“I ran to the 7-Eleven, and I made it to the floor, and these people helped me. They started counting all the bullet holes and they were like one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I thought I was going to bleed out. I thought I was going to die. I had lost a lot of blood and they had to put a lot of blood in me.
“I called my dad, that was the first person I called,” he laughed. “I don’t know why I’m laughing. I’m laughing because of all this damn medicine. I shouldn’t be alive, but I have great news. All the bullets missed my organs. They missed my spine [and] they missed my colon.
“I really feel for the people who didn’t make it. I know their families got calls, but I was able to call my dad and say goodbye.
Amidst the happy survival tears and pain medication-induced banter, Hudson suddenly fell quiet and stared directly at the camera. “I saw him,” he said, in reference to Aldrich. Following that soft-spoken pronouncement, it was difficult to ascertain what Hudson was saying. His speech became broken and somewhat impaired. He regained his composure and most of his communication skills a few moments later.
“I have been given a second chance in life,” he said. “I moved to Colorado, but I don’t think I’m going to stay. I’m going to have to do all my rehabilitation thing in Charlotte and I don’t have anybody to drive me here. It would be a lot and thank God I can feel my feet and my toes, I can move everything. My left side is fucked up, they had to cut me all in through here and none of the bullets went through.
“I’ve got a lot more to say, but I’m not sure how much I can say. Of course, I can say what the fuck I want, but they’ve kind of asked me to be quiet for now. I was asked by the FBI today if I would be comfortable if they gave [my information to] President Biden and I think the [Governor] of Colorado. They want information from me or something.”
“But, yeah, nah, I’m strong. I got this. I just got to eventually get over all this shit. Some more therapy, it’s going to be awful.
“I’m going to end it on this note,” he announced, as he briefly looked away from the camera and then back again. “This is not the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not going to cry. The worst thing that ever happened to me was when [my boyfriend] Michael died. Beside me. That’s the worst thing.
“All right, I’m getting off here. Bye-bye.”