Club Q shooter blames steroids for devastating mass-murder of five LGBTQ+ people

Anderson Lee Aldrich

The suspect in the devastating Club Q mass shooting who killed five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub is reportedly expected to take a plea deal that would ensure serves at least a life sentence.

At least five people were killed and 25 people injured after suspected shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich, 23, opened fire in Club Q on 19 November 2022.

Aldrich has now blamed steroid use for the attack.

The shooter was reportedly subdued by “heroic” nightclubbers, who grabbed the gun and hit the suspect, pinning Aldrich down before police arrived on the scene.

After allegedly facing 305 criminal counts, including five counts of first-degree murder and multiple hate crime charges, Aldrich is now expected to take a plea deal to state murder and hate charges that would mean life in prison, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

AP explained that while authorities and lawyers declined to comment on a possible plea deal, those who were injured in the attack, and the families of those who were killed, had reportedly been notified that the shooter would plead guilty to the charges, as they may have to make victim statements in court.

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Speaking to AP in a series of phone calls from jail, Aldrich said: “I have to take responsibility for what happened.”

“I don’t know if this is common knowledge but I was on a very large plethora of drugs … I had been up for days [before the attack], I was abusing steroids.

“I’ve finally been able to get off the crap I was on.”

During the calls with AP, the suspect said: “Nothing’s ever going to bring back their loved ones. People are going to have to live with injury that can’t be repaired.”

When asked why the attack happened, Aldrich said: “I don’t know. That’s why I think it’s so hard to comprehend that it did happen … I’m either going to get the death penalty federally or I will go to prison for life, thats a given.”

Mourners place flowers on the memorial for the victims of the Club Q shooting in November 2022. (Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Some survivors, however, dismissed Aldrich’s claim he was on drugs at the time of the shooting, saying the attack had been calculated and premeditated.

Michael Anderson, who was bartending at Club Q on the night of the shooting, said: “No one has sympathy for [Aldrich].

“This community has to live with what happened, with collective trauma, with PTSD, trying to grieve the loss of our friends, to move past emotional wounds and move past what we heard, saw and smelled.”

During hearings earlier this year, detectives testified that Aldrich may have planned to livestream the horrific attack, and that the 23-year-old had visited a website which hosted a “neo-Nazi white supremacist” shooting training video glorifying mass shootings.

It was also claimed that the shooter owned a rainbow-coloured gun target at home, with investigators adding they had found gun-making materials, receipts for weapons, and a drawing of Club Q in his apartment.

The five victims of the horrific Colorado Springs shooting were identified as Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance.

Aston’s mother Sabrina spoke out shortly after the shooting, saying he was the “happiest he had ever been” while working at Club Q.

Sabrina said: “He was thriving and having fun and having friends. It’s just unbelievable. He had so much more life to give to us and to all to his friends and to himself.”

She added that she hoped legislators would “have a voice” for the LGBTQ+ community after the tragedy.