DENVER (AP) – The man suspected of entering a Colorado Springs gay nightclub and killing five people and injuring 17 others was formally charged Tuesday with hate crimes as well as murder.

Investigators say Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community in this conservative city, just before midnight on November 19 and began shooting during a drag queen’s birthday celebration. The killing stopped when patrons pinned the suspect to the ground, beating Aldrich into submission, he said.

Aldrich, 22, was indicted on hate crime charges, but prosecutors previously said they were not sure whether those counts would stand because they needed to assess whether there was enough evidence to show it was was a bias motivated crime.

District Attorney Michael Allen noted that the murder charges would carry the harshest penalties – the potential for life in prison – but also said it was important to show the community that bias-motivated crimes could be prevented if there was evidence to support the charge. is not tolerated.

Aldrich, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, according to defense court filings, was arrested by police at the club. He has not entered a plea or spoken about the events.

According to witnesses, Aldrich first fired at people gathered at the club’s bar before spraying bullets onto the dance floor during the attack, which came on the eve of the annual Day of Remembrance for Transgender People Lost in Violence was.

This is breaking news update. Below is an earlier AP story.

DENVER (AP) – A suspect entered a Colorado gay nightclub wearing body armor and opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle. Five people died and 17 others were injuredHe is set to appear in court again on Tuesday to learn what charges prosecutors will pursue in the attack, including a possible hate crime count.

Investigators say Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q, a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community In The mostly conservative city of Colorado Springs, just before midnight on November 19 and began shooting during a drag queen’s birthday celebration. The killing stopped when patrons pinned the suspect to the ground, beating Aldrich into submission, he said.

Aldrich, who is nondual and uses they/them pronouns He was arrested at the club by police and held on suspicion of murder and hate crimes, according to defense court filings, while District Attorney Michael Allen determined what charges to face against him. Allen noted that the murder charges would carry the harshest punishment – ​​likely life in prison – and that charging Aldrich with crimes motivated by bias would not result in harsher punishment.

But in a November 21 news conference, Allen said that, even if there was evidence to support bias-motivated crimes, it was still important to pursue them to send the message “that we support the communities that are being stigmatized.” harassed, intimidated and abused.”

According to eyewitnesses, Aldrich first fired on the people gathered in the bar of the club Joe arrived on the eve of the attack, before shots were fired on the dance floor An annual day of remembrance for transgender people defeated by violence.

a year before the shooting, Aldrich was Arrested for making bomb threats Due to which about 10 houses were evacuated. Authorities said at the time that Aldrich threatened to harm his own family with a homemade bomb, ammunition and multiple weapons. Aldrich was jailed on suspicion of felony assault and kidnapping, but the case was apparently later sealed and it is unclear what happened to the charges. There is no public indication that this case led to a conviction.

Ring doorbell video obtained by the AP shows Aldrich arriving at his mother’s front door with a large black bag, saying that police are nearby and adding, “This is where I’m standing Today I died.



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