Club Q Shooter to Plead Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges

( – Just days before Thanksgiving in 2022, a shooter walked into Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and opened fire. Five people died and 19 were injured in the incident. The federal government has now charged the killer with hate crimes, and he is reportedly set to plead guilty.

On January 16, the Department of Justice announced charges against 23-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich. In 2023, he pleaded guilty to the murders of Kelly Loving, Raymond Green Vance, Derrick Rump, Daniel Aston, and Ashley Paugh on November 19, 2022, at the LGBTQ+ nightclub.

According to the DOJ, Aldrich entered the club and began firing. He continued shooting as many people as possible until patrons, including an Army veteran, stopped him. He carried out the attack because he wanted to kill members of the LGBTQ+ community. Like Pulse in Orlando, where 49 people were murdered in 2016, Club Q was known as a safe haven for members of the community.

The press release by the federal authorities stated that it’s “anticipated that the defendant has agreed to plead guilty to all” 74 federal hate crime charges. Aldrich decided to plead guilty to the gun and hate crime charges to avoid the death penalty. Although President Joe Biden’s DOJ has paused federal death sentences, his administration previously allowed federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in a similar motivated by hate crime that left 10 black people dead in Buffalo, New York.

Court documents reportedly identify the killer as being non-binary and use “they/them” pronouns. Aldrich is expected to receive multiple life sentences that will total 190 years in prison.

The killer is currently serving five consecutive life sentences plus 2,208 years without the possibility of parole. Originally, Aldrich was serving the sentence in Colorado but was moved to the Wyoming State Penitentiary last year. The Department of Corrections said the decision was made because of safety concerns surrounding the high-profile case.

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