Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich facing 305 criminal charges

Two mugshots of the Colorado Springs shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich showing severe bruises to his face and neck

Anderson Lee Aldrich, the alleged gunman who killed five people and injured many more in a Colorado Springs gay nightclub, appeared in court on Tuesday (6 December).

Anderson Lee Aldrich has been charged with 305 criminal counts, including five counts of first-degree murder and multiple hate crime charges,

Aldrich is accused of opening fire in LGBTQ+ venue Club Q on 19 November – killing two bartenders and three patrons, with at least 25 others injured.

They were stopped after two patrons intervened, pinning the shooter to the ground until police arrived.

Aldrich, who has stated they are nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns in defence court filings, was arrested at the scene.

They’ve has been in custody on suspicion of murder and hate crimes since district attorney Michael Allen determined what charges Anderson Lee Aldrich would face.

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In a 21 November news conference, Allen told media it would be important to pursue bias-motivated charges if the evidence supported them to show “that we support communities that have been maligned, harassed, intimidated and abused’.

An image showing a memorial of the five people killed in the Club Q shooting.
The five lives lost in the Colorado Springs shooting on Saturday, 19 November. Twitter/Getty

The shooting was not Anderson Lee Aldrich’s first run-in with authorities, having been arrested in June 2021 on allegations of making a bomb threat that lead to an estimated 10 homes being evacuated.

A day after the shooting, Club Q released a statement on Facebook stating it was “devastated by the senseless attack”.

Since then, the nightclub has stated its goal is to “return Club Q as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community”.

However, “plans for the return of Q are not fully developed yet”.

Club Q also published a letter it was sent from US president Joe Biden.

““”Spaces like Club Q are safe havens for LGBTQI+ people, where they can feel seen and celebrated without fear of judgement or discrimination,” the president wrote.

““”I will keep fighting for a ban on assault weapons and continue the push for other common-sense gun safety measures, which most Americans support.”

In an interview with AP about a week after the shooting, Club Q co-owner Nic Grzecka said he thinks the attack was a reflection of rising anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the US.

He targeted politicians and right-wing activists complaining about the “sexualisation” and “grooming” of children.