Colorado Springs shooting suspect faces hate crime and murder charges as past bomb arrest emerges

A scene from the vigil inside All Souls Unitarian Church in downtown Colorado Spring shows a man crying

The suspect in the Colorado Springs shooting is facing five murder and five hate crime charges.

Anderson Lee Aldrich was arrested at Club Q, in Colorado Springs, after officials said he opened fire, killing five people and injuring at least 25.

Court reports posted on Monday (21 November) have confirmed he is facing five murder charges and five count of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

A Colorado judge has agreed to seal court records related to Aldrich’s arrest at the request of prosecutors, as to not “jeopardise the ongoing case investigation”.

Aldrich was previously arrested in June 2021, after allegedly threatening his mother with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition”.

Neighbours were forced to evacuate while a bomb squad and negotiators were sent in, with Aldrich submitting to arrest after a lengthy stand-off.

Police cleared Aldrich’s and his mothers homes and found no explosives, said the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and according to CNN no formal charges were pursued.

It’s unclear whether Colorado’s “red flag” law was applied to Aldrich – this would have allowed authorities to seize weapons from him and “put him on their radar”, said Colorado state Representative Tom Sullivan, per AP.

Police reportedly recovered two weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle, and the attacker was reportedly found wearing body armour.

Five people were killed in the Colorado Springs shooting

So far, three victims have been named: Club Q bartenders Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump, and clubgoer Kelly Loving.

Both Aston and Loving were trans – the shooting took place on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance, which honours the victims of and raises awareness of anti-trans violence.

Many have drawn a link between the increasingly vitriolic anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric being pushed by conservatives with the shooting, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Another 25 people were injured. The shooting lasted for several minutes, and was reportedly brought to an end by “heroic” patrons who “subdued” the gunman.