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Chicago's LGBTQ+ community talk safety following deadly mass shooting in Colorado Springs

ABC 7 Chicago 11/22/2022 WLS

Security is always a top concern at the Center on Halsted on Chicago's North Side.

"This is a safe place for all yet we have to worry every single day because we identify as LGBTQ," Center On Halsted CEO Modesto Tico Valle said.

LGBTQ community centers, bars and other establishments in Chicago are on high alert after the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs that left five people dead.

"Unfortunately it was another punch in the stomach, knocking me off my feet," Valle said,

He said his team is always preparing for the worst-case scenario.

"I have over 80 staff here and we are always planning for crisis management in the event that something awful would happen here at the center. My staff worry. My clients worry," Valle said.

The Behavioral Health Department at the Center on Halsted will have staff members available Monday night for anyone who needs help processing their emotions.

The suspected Club Q gunman is facing multiple murder and hate crime charges.

Although the motive is unknown, some members of the LGBTQ community warn the current political climate is putting their safety at risk.

"For me it is just a reminder how important it is that no community leader or political leader use the Lgbtq+community as a cheap shot to score their own political points for their own gain," Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson.

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