NewsClub Q Shooting


Shooter who killed 5 people at Colorado LGBTQ+ club charged with hate crimes in federal court

Colorado Springs Shooting
Club Q
Posted at 2:56 PM, Jan 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-16 23:03:01-05

DENVER (AP) — The shooter who killed five people and endangered the lives of over 40 others at a LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs appeared in federal court to face federal hate crimes Tuesday.

Anderson Aldrich, 23, pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

Last year Aldrich was moved to the Wyoming State Penitentiary due to safety concerns of the high-profile case, according to Alondra Gonzalez, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Corrections.

The charges, which include multiple federal firearm violations, come after Aldrich pleaded guilty last June in state court to five counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder — one for each person at Club Q during the attack on Nov. 19, 2022.

Aldrich, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, also pleaded no contest to state charges for hate crimes charges under a plea agreement. The plea was an acknowledgment there was a good chance Aldrich would be convicted of those crimes without admitting guilt. The pleas carried the same weight as a conviction.

The federal charges follow an FBI investigation into the shooting that was confirmed after Aldrich’s sentencing in state court. At the time, District Attorney Michael Allen said the threat of the death penalty in the federal system was a “big part of what motivated the defendant” to plead guilty to the state charges.

Aldrich declined to speak at the sentencing hearing in state court, and haven't said why they hung out at the club, then went outside and returned dressed in body armor. Aldrich began firing an AR-15-style rifle as soon as they came back in.

Prosecutors say Aldrich had visited the club at least six times before that night and that Aldrich’s mother had forced them to go.

In a series of telephone calls from jail, Aldrich told The Associated Press they were on a “very large plethora of drugs” and abusing steroids at the time of the attack. When asked whether the attack was motivated by hate, Aldrich said that was “completely off base.”

The district attorney called those statements self-serving and characterized the assertion as ringing hollow. He said Aldrich’s claim of being nonbinary is part of an effort to avoid hate crime charges, saying there was no evidence of Aldrich identifying as nonbinary before the shooting.

During hearings in the state case in February, prosecutors said Aldrich administered a website that posted a “neo-Nazi white supremacist” shooting training video. A police detective also testified that online gaming friends said Aldrich expressed hatred for the police, LBGTQ+ people and minorities, and used racist and homophobic slurs. One said that Aldrich sent an online message with a photo of a rifle trained on a gay pride parade.

The attack shattered the sense of safety at Club Q, which served as a refuge for the city’s LGBTQ+ community. The shooting was stopped by a Navy officer who grabbed the barrel of the suspect’s rifle, burning his hand, and an Army veteran helped subdue and beat Aldrich until police arrived, authorities said.

The 2022 attack came more than a year after Aldrich was arrested for threatening their grandparents and vowing to become “the next mass killer ″ while stockpiling weapons, body armor and bomb-making materials.

Those charges were eventually dismissed after Aldrich’s mother and grandparents refused to cooperate with prosecutors.

The shooter is now working on a deal to plead guilty to the federal hate crime charges to avoid the death penalty.

Documents say that Aldrich will change his plea in exchange for the deal. The sentence will be 190 years in prison, which will be served consecutively.

Aldrich is currently serving five consecutive life sentences without the chance for parole.

The deadly shooting at Club Q took the lives of Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, and Kelly Loving. A year after the shooting, the victim's families spoke about their loved ones.


Families of five victims killed at Club Q remember their loved ones

The three heroes who took down the shooter that night shared their stories of the moments that they confronted Aldrich.


Club Q heroes discuss the moments when they confronted the shooter

The Vice President of Operations, Michael Anderson, announced that in Oct. they plan to open a new restaurant and lounge called "The Q" inside of the Satellite Hotel.


Leaders with Club Q come up with a plan to start moving forward


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