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Club shooting suspect facing murder, hate crime charges

Club shooting suspect facing murder, hate crime charges


Club shooting suspect facing murder, hate crime charges

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The man suspected of killing five people and injuring others at a homosexual bar in Colorado Springs is facing murder and hate crime charges, according to online court records obtained Monday.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, the records show.

A law enforcement official said the suspect used an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon in Saturday night's attack, but a handgun and additional ammunition magazines also were recovered. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Information on a lawyer who could speak on Aldrich's behalf wasn't immediately available Monday.

Club Q on its Facebook page thanked the "quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

Already questions were being raised about why authorities didn’t seek to take Aldrich’s guns away from him in 2021, when he was arrested after his mother reported he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.

Though authorities at the time said no explosives were found, gun control advocates are asking why police didn’t try to trigger Colorado’s “red flag” law, which would have allowed authorities to seize the weapons his mother says he had. There’s also no public record prosecutors ever moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Aldrich.

Mayor John Suthers said on NBC's “Today” that the district attorney would file motions in court Monday to allow law enforcement to talk more about any criminal history “that this individual might have had.”

Of the 25 injured at Club Q, at least seven were in critical condition, authorities said. Some were hurt trying to flee, and it was unclear if all of them were shot, a police spokesperson said. Suthers told The Associated Press there was “reason to hope” all of those hospitalized would recover.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that features a drag show on Saturdays, according to its website. Club Q’s Facebook page said planned entertainment included a “punk and alternative show” preceding a birthday dance party, with a Sunday all-ages drag brunch.

A hate-crime charge against Aldrich requires proving he was motivated by the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.