Club Q shooting suspect to be tried on hate crime charges – but trial might not be until ‘next year’

Anderson Lee Aldrich

Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspected Club Q shooter, faces more than 300 counts in court – but the trial might not happen until “next year”. 

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday (February 23), Fourth Judicial District Court judge Michael McHenry told the media he is “hopeful” the case will take place this year but said “there’s a pretty decent chance that it could be next year even”. 

Following a multi-day evidentiary hearing, which was used to determine whether prosecutors’ allegation that the shooting was a hate crime was supported by evidence, McHenry ordered Aldrich to be held without bond and will face trial on all 323 criminal charges. 

The 22-year-old is accused of killing five people and injuring 22 others during a mass shooting at LGBTQ+ venue Club Q in Colorado Springs on 9 November 2022. 

Daniel Aston, 28; Kelly Loving, 40; Ashley Paugh, 35; Derrick Rump, 38; and Raymond Green Vance, 22, were all killed during the incident. 

Aldrich, who claims to be non-binary, owned a rainbow-coloured gun target, gunmaking materials, receipts for weapons and a drawing of the club, prior to the massacre. 

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The 22-year-old was intent on “indiscriminately killing and wounding many others and scaring the daylights out of everyone else in that club”, Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen argued. 

As reported by the Colorado Sun, Allen said Aldrich had a “disdain” towards the LGBTQ+ community and evidence presented in the hearing supported that “aversion”. 

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Aldrich’s defence attorney Joseph Archambault called the attack “senseless, awful and tragic”, but argued that prosecutors failed to establish that there was intent to target the LGBTQ community. 

The defence did not present any evidence or witnesses at the hearing. 

During the hearing, detective Rebecca Joines said evidence indicates that Aldrich was considering livestreaming the attack. 

A hat found in Aldrich’s vehicle by police had a phone taped to it and Aldrich recorded four videos using a livestreaming app, which took place over a two-hour period before the shooting, the Associated Press reported

Joines also testified that Aldrich administered an obscure website which hosted a “neo-Nazi white supremacist” shooting training video glorifying mass shootings.

He also posted an image of a rifle scope trained on a gay Pride parade and used a bigoted slur when referring to someone who was gay, the detective told the court.

Further evidence shared by the Colorado Springs Police Department also revealed Aldrich owned a rainbow coloured gun target. 

As the Denver Post reported, the rainbow-coloured target was found in Aldrich’s mother’s bedroom, in the apartment they shared. 

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Photographs shown in court revealed that the target had the silhouette of a person’s head and shoulders, with rainbow-coloured stripes around the silhouette.

During the court hearing, surveillance footage was shared which showed Aldrich entering the club wearing a red t-shirt and tan ballistic vest while holding an AK-style rifle before opening fire in the venue.

The whole of the attack was captured on CCTV, prosecutors have said, the Associated Press reported.

Aldrich is set to return to court to be arraigned 30 May, where trial is likely to be scheduled. 

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