A bartender who was working during the mass shooting at a Colorado gay club described the harrowing moments when he feared he was the gunman’s “next” target as he ducked for cover from the bullets spraying across the venue.
Michael Anderson, 25, a bartender at Club Q in Colorado Springs, recalled that he heard “a few popping sounds,” thinking people might have been clapping, NBC News reported.
“Then I looked up and I realized people were running,” Anderson told the network.
“I saw a person with a gun, and I immediately ducked behind the bar and glass was flying around me,” he told the UK’s Mirror.
Anderson said he crawled out to a patio where he and a co-worker hid between a wall and a booth to avoid the withering gunfire.
“I was scared. I was trapped. I wanted to get out of that building,” he told NBC News. I just was afraid I wouldn’t be able to talk to my mom.”
The bartender said he then saw a gun barrel sticking out of the patio door.
“And that was the moment I was most terrified. Because I knew we were next. He was gonna find us,” he told AFP.
But all of a sudden, the gunfire subsided.
“After a minute or two, I wasn’t sure if it was over or not, so I got up and decided to make a run for it,” Anderson told the Mirror about the moment a couple of heroic customers rushed the gunman and pinned him to the ground.
But as he got up to flee the carnage, Anderson made a horrific discovery.
“I found a man lying on the floor after being shot in the neck,” he told The Mirror.
“When I went inside I saw that two people had seemingly detained someone on the ground and were kicking them and yelling at them,” he said.
“I ran behind the bar and grabbed my things and ran to my car. The cops arrived in mass numbers by this time,” Anderson added.
He said he doesn’t know who the courageous people were, but told NBC News that he was “grateful, because they most certainly saved my life last night.”
Anderson said he and his friends thought a mass shooting would never hit Colorado Springs and Club Q.
“But maybe that’s something we tell ourselves so we can go out and feel safe,” he told AFP, adding that he hopes the attacker will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Two other bartenders were killed in the bloodbath, Daniel Davis Aston, 28, and Derrick Rump.
Investigators are looking into a motive, and said they will consider hate crime charges.
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club wrote on Facebook. “Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
Aldrich remains in protective custody at a local hospital.