Club Q shooter Anderson Aldrich charged with 305 counts including murder, hate crimes and assault
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO: The suspect accused of killing five people in the mass shooting at a Colorado nightclub Club Q has been officially charged with 305 counts, including murder and hate crimes.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was accused of storming into the nightclub with a gun and shooting people, killing five people and injuring many more. The horrific incident occurred November 19 in Colorado Springs.
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Wearing a neon yellow prison uniform, Aldrich appeared at the El Paso District Court for the hearing of their criminal charges. The suspect slumped over in their previous appearance and attorneys attempted to get them to respond to the questions asked by the judge. In the first court hearing, Aldrich’s defense attorneys revealed they are non-binary and used the they-them pronouns, reports the Daily Mail.
Aldrich is charged with 305 counts that include first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and bias-motivated crimes. According to the Daily Mail, if Aldrich is convicted of first-degree murder, the suspect will face a mandatory life sentence without any possibility of parole.
Following the rampage, US Army veteran Richard M Fierro and US Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James, the two military men subdued Aldrich after allegedly getting into Club Q in Colorado Springs.
Bartender Daniel Davis Aston, 28, patron Kelly Loving, 40, bartender and bar co-owner Derrick Rump, 38, patron Ashley Paugh, 35, and customer Raymond Greene Vance, 22, are the five victims who were killed in the rampage at the nightclub.
Before targeting the dance floor, the 22-year-old suspect began to shoot at a gathering at the club's bar, according to witnesses. The incident took place on the eve of a remembrance conducted annually for transgender people who lost their lives to crimes and violence.
As per the Daily Mail reporting, District Attorney Michael Allen had noted that Aldrich's murder charges would carry the harshest penalty, likely life in prison but he also mentioned that it is important for the community to know that there is no tolerance for bias-motivated crimes and also stated that the gender identity of the suspect will have no influence in the prosecution of the case, referring to Aldrich's attorney revealing they are non-binary.
The news outlet reports that if Aldrich is criminally charged by the prosecutors in the US, there is a possibility of the suspect facing a death sentence in federal court. The US code still contains capital punishment for particular crimes.
Aldrich has previously been arrested for an alleged bomb threat that resulted in 10 homes being evacuated. In June 2021, Aldrich, who was then living with their grandmother Pam Pullen and her husband Jonathan, fled to their mother Laura Voepel's home after threatening them. However, they threatened to blow up Voepel's home later.
Under no bond hold, they currently remain in jail since the shooting on November 13.