LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Dozens gathered in Lakewood Tuesday night to remember the lives lost, along with those injured and affected by the shooting at a gay club in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
A candlelight vigil was held Atelier West 117a new LGBTQ+ entertainment and dining complex just outside of Cleveland that opened this fall.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies began the vigil by reading the names of the five people who were killed Saturday night at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
The victims, ranging in age from 22 to 40, included both employees and patrons of the nightclub. In addition to the five dead, police said 18 others were injured.
“We’re in a state of grief,” said Mars Harper Jenkins, public relations and media manager at Studio West 117. “I think the entire LGBTQ+ community is hurt.”
Since filming Saturday in Colorado, Studio West 117 has provided resources and support to any staff members who are struggling.
“We really just want to connect with our community and see how we’re all doing after something so horrible happened,” Jenkins said.
The safety of its employees and patrons, she said, is also a top priority.
“We’re thinking up front,” Jenkins said, speaking of fears of a potential attack similar to the one in Colorado Springs happening here in Ohio at Studio West 117.
“We’re just making sure we’ve got all our security measures in place,” she said, noting that security at Studio West 117 was tightened in response to the Club Q shooting.
“We have plainclothes people, so you wouldn’t know they were security guards, but they’re here 24/7,” Jenkins said, adding that uniformed security guards are also present at the complex. “Unfortunately, when things like that [a shooting] happen, there is very little preparation time. It’s just, ‘We have a plan, we’re going to execute it, and we’re doing our best to save as many lives as possible.’”