Murder And Hate Crimes Accused In Colorado Springs Attack

On Tuesday, the individual accused of opening fire at a Colorado L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub, killing five and injuring at least 17, was charged with 305 felony charges, including 10 first-degree murder, 86 attempted murder, and 48 bias-motivated offences.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, entered Club Q in Colorado Springs about midnight on Nov. 19 wearing body armour and carrying an assault-style weapon, according to authorities. Two unarmed clubgoers subdued and detained the assailant until the cops came.

The defendant initially appeared in court on Tuesday after the shooting. The offender was erect and attentive in bright yellow jail scrubs and appeared to have healed substantially from a video court appearance in the days after the shooting. The suspect was slumped over with swollen eyes and a damaged face, struggling to talk.

El Paso County jail holds the defendant without bond. After the accusations were filed on Tuesday, Judge Michael McHenry scheduled a February preliminary hearing. The judge unsealed the arrest affidavit on Wednesday at prosecutors’ request.

Murder and Hate Crimes Accused in Colorado Springs Attack.

source: www.npr.org

Defendant did not plead.

The shooting’s motivation is unknown. Prosecutors’ inclusion of bias-motivated offences, or hate crimes, shows they believe the attack was specifically motivated by hatred against the L.G.B.T.Q. community.

District Attorney Michael Allen told reporters following the hearing that his office has evidence to substantiate the bias-motivated felony allegations.

Mr. Allen stated, “We will not accept sexual identity-based actions against community members.” “That community has been hounded, bullied, and abused for too long.”

Defense counsel say the defendant is nonbinary and uses “they” and “them.” Mr. Allen told reporters the defendant’s gender identity was “part of the picture” in bias-motivated crime allegations.

Prosecutors charged two charges of murder for each of the five club victims, stating the defendant acted with deliberation, intent, and callous indifference to human life.

Since Colorado eliminated the capital penalty in 2020, the maximum sentence is life without parole.

Mr. Allen said the case featured the most charges in state history. He added the number of charges could fluctuate as police strive to locate all clubgoers that night.

The defendant was arrested in 2021 for making a bomb threat following an hours-long standoff with police. According to The Gazette, a Colorado Springs newspaper, the defendant said they intended to be “the next mass shooter” in their arrest document. A judge concealed the arrest’s details, so it’s unclear how it ended. State law prevented the district attorney from commenting on that case.

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