NORFOLK, Va. — A shooting that killed five people and hurt at least 17 others at Club Q in Colorado is impacting the LGBTQ community in Hampton Roads.
Some members of that community told 13News Now the shooting makes them nervous and scared. But owners at MJ’s Tavern in Norfolk are hoping to give people a place to feel safe.
“Our hearts are breaking, and there’s nothing we can do, and that’s what hurts the most. Is that you can’t turn back time, you can’t fix this," said MJ's Tavern co-owner John Childers.
Childers said his tavern is a place were many LGBTQ+ people get together in Hampton Roads. He said he thought these kinds of targeted crimes were over.
“It’s devastating and it’s scary, it made us aware of how vulnerable the community still is. We were hoping we were getting past this. After what happened six years ago at Pulse, now it’s back with a vengeance, it feels like," Childers said.
Childers said for the past two days he’s been trying to give his customers a place to heal and seek help.
“We had a priest here yesterday and today," Childers said, "for people who came in and are having difficulty processing this."
He said his staff is planning to start a fundraiser for the victims and their families.
“They can be two thousand miles away but they are still part of the family and we want them to understand that we understand, and we worry for them," said Childers.
Childers is not the only one speaking out. Several other venues in Hampton Roads took to social media to show their support for Colorado, Club Q, and the LGBTQ+ communities.
Childers also wants to send a strong message to the entire community.
“Because we’re different doesn’t make you better than us. It doesn’t make us better than you. We should all be equal," he said.