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AP reports plea deal expected in Club Q case; survivors frustrated that suspect was interviewed by journalists

AP reports plea expected in Club Q case, survivors frustrated suspect was interviewed
Posted at 9:17 AM, Jun 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-16 11:17:08-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Associated Press reports the suspect in the Club Q mass shooting is expected to take a plea deal during their June 26 arraignment.

The article contains statements the suspect made during jailhouse calls with AP reporters, and many survivors are frustrated to see the alleged shooter interviewed.

Michael Anderson was working as a bartender at Club Q on the night of the November mass shooting that killed five people and injured more than a dozen. He was one of the people quoted in the AP article, but he told Denver7 he did not speak about any potential plea deal.

“I've chosen not to comment on a plea deal, because that's really not my place, you know, and that would go directly against the advice of the district attorney," Anderson said. “Anything that's leaked to the public has the potential of influencing this case negatively. And we don't need that.”

Anderson said during the interview for the AP article, he was asked if he wanted to hear the jailhouse interviews with the suspect.

“Halfway into this interview, they literally bombarded me with the idea that this tape of the guy who tried to kill me, killed my friends, and tried to kill everyone else in the building, had decided to speak out from jail," Anderson said.

Anderson said the quotes included in the AP article were in reference to the comments he heard the defendant make on the recording. He was enraged to hear what the alleged shooter had to say.

“For [the suspect] to say, you know, 'I can't believe I would do something like this.' Well, it's hard to believe considering the months of planning that went into this coordinated hate attack on Club Q," Anderson said. "To do that whole hour and a half interview with the AP, only for them to report on my comments to the tape, I'm like, what was the whole point of that interview? I almost feel like it was just a setup for me to get comfortable discussing these topics, only to throw that in and throw a wrench into the whole thing.”

Anderson believes interviewing the suspect and featuring their statements in the article distracts from the stories of survivors, victims' families, and the community.

“The media glorifying shooters by acknowledging them by name, giving them time to speak and tell their side, now that is completely irresponsible," said Anderson. “All [the suspect] deserves is his day in court.”

Rich Fierro, one of the people who helped stop the alleged shooter, sent Denver7 the following statement:

“I will say in this article he showed no accountability or remorse, his comments were all self-centered excuses for his planned actions that night and to seek pity from the public. It’s a disgusting article.”
Rich Fierro, Club Q Survivor

The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said it will not be commenting on the AP article.

In a statement, the AP said it took "great care" in its reporting.

"The Associated Press took great care throughout the reporting and interview process to be sensitive to the victims and their families as we reported the newsworthy developments in this case."