(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — The suspect accused of killing five people in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is facing 305 charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and bias-motivated crimes.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, wore yellow prison attire for Tuesday’s court appearance, which was to hear the charges against them. Aldrich did not speak.
Public defenders assigned to Aldrich said in a court filing that the suspect identifies as nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them.
Investigators and witnesses said the suspect allegedly opened fire as soon as they walked into Club Q at about midnight on Nov. 19. Patrons at the venue tackled Aldrich, subduing them until police arrived, according to witnesses.
“We are encouraged by this morning’s announcement of formal charges … as it cements what we already knew: this was a targeted hate crime,” one of the owners of Club Q, Matthew Haynes, said in a statement released by GLAAD on Tuesday. “The charges also affirm what we as a community demand: hate has no place here in Colorado Springs or anywhere.”
“We continue to call out those who spread disgusting rhetoric and encourage violence against the LGBTQ community, to end this behavior immediately before more people get hurt,” Haynes said. “And we urge everyone to do what they can to speak up for LGBTQ people and everyone’s right to be safe.”
Aldrich was arrested earlier for five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of ethnic intimidation causing bodily injury. The mass shooting was being investigated as a hate crime.
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