Some are speaking out after the mass shooting that took place at a Colorado Springs nightclub, and Erie community leaders reacted to these acts of violence.

The president of the NWPA Pride Alliance, Alex Sphon, said the mass shooting in Colorado Springs is devastating and hits the local LGBTQ community especially hard, as five victims were killed, and authorities described the murders as hate crimes.

The editor of the Erie Gay News agreed and said it’s disturbing to see violence like this taking place in 2022. Local activists say something has to change.

“This is the second time in six or seven years that we’ve had an attack on our soil against our communities strictly for being who we are. When we see stuff like this happening, there needs to be something done. We can’t even go into one of our safe spaces that our community has and be ourselves and enjoy a night,” said Alex Sphon, president, NWPA Pride Alliance.

Sphon added that hate crimes like these impact communities across the nation.