COLORADO SPRINGS — The patron who tackled a gunman inside a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night prevented a deadly shooting from being far worse, the club’s owners said on Sunday.
“He saved dozens and dozens of lives,” one of the owners of Club Q, Matthew Haynes, said at a vigil. “Stopped the man cold. Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him.”
Mr. Haynes and the club’s other owner, Nic Grzecka, said they had reviewed surveillance video that showed the gunman enter the building and immediately begin firing. Customers and staff members were among the five dead and more than two dozen wounded, they said.
Mr. Grzecka estimated that the shooting lasted no more than two minutes before a patron subdued the gunman, and another helped hold him down. Police arrived about three minutes later, he said.
“I don’t even know the names of these people,” Mr. Grzecka said. “But what they did is incredible.”
Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs said the person who subdued the gunman had grabbed a handgun from him and hit him with it. “It was quite something,” Suthers told The New York Times in a phone interview. “It happened quite quickly.”
Mr. Haynes said Club Q had an active shooter protocol, which he said had been “followed to the letter.” The two owners arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting ended, they said.
Neither would describe in detail what they saw. “It was a crime scene,” Mr. Haynes said, but he added that he noticed people trying to help each other in those first minutes.
“There were lots of mini-heroes who were taking people home, making sure people were safe,” Mr. Haynes said.
The crowd inside Club Q on Saturday night was smaller than usual, Mr. Haynes said, because of the colder weather that had recently set in.
“We were moderate to light,” Mr. Haynes said. “We were very fortunate we did not have our usual Saturday night crowd last night.”
Recordings from surveillance cameras inside the club have been turned over to investigators, and the club’s owners have scoured their records to see if the man who has been identified by police as the suspect had ever visited the club.
“To our knowledge, he has not entered our building before,” Mr. Haynes said.
Jack Healy contributed reporting.