New York police are stepping up surveillance within LGBTQ communities following a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado on Saturday night.
At a briefing on Sunday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said state police and the NYPD were monitoring social media sites for potential threats, as well as conducting outreach to LGBTQ organizations. Officials on Long Island said they planned to increase patrols as well.
"New York is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and we will continue to stand with the community so that every New Yorker can live with the dignity and equality they deserve,” Hochul said in a statement. “My administration will continue our efforts to prevent hate crimes and speak out against hatred and bigotry."
The shooting at Club Q left five people dead and 25 others injured, police said. The alleged attacker, a 22-year-old with a long rifle, was subdued by at least two nightclub patrons, according to reports.
Also on Saturday night, an individual was seen on video throwing a brick at the window of VERS, a gay bar in Hell's Kitchen. The attack was the fourth time in a week that a person had thrown a brick at the storefront, the owner, David DeParolesa, told the New York Post.
Inquiries to the NYPD were not immediately returned.
A spokesperson for Hochul said the state’s counterterrorism unit was in touch with several entities, but could not elaborate further on the enhanced surveillance effort. The measures are a precaution, and there is no known threat in New York at this time.
The shooting came hours before the LGBTQ community prepared to observe Trans Day of Remembrance on Sunday, an annual event held in honor of those killed by anti-transgender violence. The club that the shooter targeted was set to hold a brunch marking the observance.
Both city and state landmarks will be lit in blue, pink, and white in recognition of Trans Day of Awareness on Sunday. Hochul also ordered the state’s flags to be flown at half-mast.
LGBTQ groups will also rally outside the Stonewall Memorial on Sunday afternoon to pay tribute to those killed in Colorado while also marking Trans Day of Remembrance.
“Hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric contributes to violence against marginalized communities who only want to exist in peace,” NYC Pride said in a statement. “As yet another tragedy seeks to threaten our safe spaces, we stand with our trans family and the community in Colorado Springs against hate, violence, and those who wish to take away our right to be who we are.”
This story has been updated with new information.