Focus on the Family headquarters sign vandalized in wake of Club Q shooting
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Vandals defaced a sign outside a local Christian ministry Thursday, accusing the organization of complicity in the horrific massacre at an LGBTQ+ nightclub.
“Their blood is on your hands. Five lives taken,” reads the graffiti on the brick Focus on the Family sign, which outside its facility off Briargate Parkway in north Colorado Springs.
Police told 11 News partner The Gazette that the statement was spray-painted at some point during the wee hours of Thursday morning. Following the incident, someone tried to conceal the graffiti with a tarp and cardboard, but as of Friday the tarp had fallen off, leaving much of the wording visible.
The incident comes as Colorado Springs continues to grieve the senseless loss of life at Club Q nearly one week ago. Law enforcement says a gunman went into the establishment late on the night of Nov. 19 and opened fire, killing five and injuring 18 before he was taken down by a couple of patrons. In his first court appearance by video Wednesday, suspect Anderson Lee Aldritch still wore many of the cuts and bruises police say he received when Richard Fierro and Thomas James stopped him that night.
Focus on the Family is an evangelical organization founded in California in 1977. Its headquarters have been in Colorado Springs since 1991. The organization states on its website that it believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and in 2014 spoke out against adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to non-discrimination laws, citing concerns about conflicts with religious liberties.
Immediately following the shooting, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly told 11 News sister station CBS Denver that he mourned the tragedy and that the organization wanted to make it clear it stands against hate.
“We recognize the community is hurting in the aftermath of the reckless and violent actions of a very disturbed individual,” part of a statement from Focus on the Family President Jim Daly reads. “This is a time for prayer, grieving and healing, not vandalism and the spreading of hate. Focus on the Family is privileged to be one of many organizations in our city positioned to help and support the needs of struggling individuals and families. The families of the five individuals killed in Saturday night’s senseless attack are in our prayers. We urge everyone to pray for peace and we also pray for the individual or group responsible for this mischievous and unwarranted defacing of our ministry’s property.”
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