Club Q mass shooting suspect expected to plead guilty

Club Q suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich

The suspect in the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs in November is expected to plead guilty to charges from the attack that resulted in the deaths of five LGBTQ+ people.

It is alleged that Anderson Lee Aldrich, 23, who uses they/them pronouns, opened fire in the gay nightclub on 19 November 2022, killing five people and injuring about 20 others.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Aldrich, who is facing 300 charges, including murder and hate crimes, is expected to plead guilty as part of a plea deal at a hearing on Monday (26 June).

While authorities and lawyers have not commented on any possibility of a deal, families of the those who died and survivors have said to have been notified of it. They are expected to speak at the hearing about the impact the shooting has had on their lives.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Aldrich was blaming steroid use for the attack.

Aldrich gave a number of jailhouse interviews to AP, claiming in one that they had been “abusing steroids” in the days before the attack. “I don’t know if this is common knowledge, but I was on a very large plethora of drugs,” they said.

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The defendant was also quoted as saying he needed to “take responsibility for what happened” and that “nothing’s ever going to bring back their loved ones”.

In response to being 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.”

During previous hearings related to the shooting, detectives testified that Aldrich may have planned to livestream the attack, and that the suspect had visited a website which hosted a “neo-Nazi white supremacist” training video glorifying mass shootings.

In the days after the shooting, it was also revealed that the FBI had been alerted to Aldrich after the suspect was arrested in June 2021 on allegations of making a bomb threat against family members. The case was later dropped.

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