Colorado Springs gunman charged with murder and hate crimes

Nightclub mass shooting left five dead and 22 wounded

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A person has been charged with murder and hate crimes for a mass shooting in which five people were killed at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The shooting at Club Q also left 22 people injured.

Officials said Anderson Lee Aldrich, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, entered the nightclub before midnight on November 19 and began shooting.

Mx Aldrich appeared for the hearing in El Paso District Court where the charges were read. They have been held without bond since the shooting.

Officials have not publicly identified a motive behind the shooting.

The attack ended when Richard Fierro, a war veteran who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, tackled Mx Aldrich before police arrived to detain them.

The victims were Kelly Loving, 40; Daniel Aston, 28; Derrick Rump, 38; Ashley Paugh, 34; and Raymond Green Vance, 22.

District Attorney Michael Allen has said murder charges would carry the harshest penalty — a possible life sentence. Bias-motivated hate crimes would not bring a harsher punishment, he said.

But he added it was important to pursue bias-motivated crimes if evidence supported the charges because it sends the message that “we support communities that have been maligned, harassed, intimidated and abused”.

Mx Aldrich was able to evade Colorado's red flag laws, which prohibit people from purchasing firearms if they pose a risk to themselves or others.

The gunman was previously arrested in June 2021 after their mother reported they had threatened to cause her harm with a home-made bomb and several weapons, a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said at the time.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: December 06, 2022, 4:19 PM