Club Q shooting suspect faces murder and hate crime charges
The suspect in the deadly Colorado Springs LGBTQ night club shooting is facing multiple murder and hate crime charges, according to Max D’Onofrio, a city spokesperson.
Driving the news: The suspect was arrested on five counts of first-degree murder and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime.
- The initial charges could change when they are formally filed.
The latest: Police said Monday five people were killed in the shooting and 18 were injured. Of those injured, 17 suffered gunshot wounds.
- "We know many more community members were present at Club Q during the shooting, who may be victims with no visible injuries. An example is a community member who ran out as the shooting occurred," the Colorado Springs Police Department said on social media.
- Police and city officials initially said Sunday that 25 people had been injured in the shooting.
Context: Law enforcement officials said the suspect, identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, "immediately" opened fire on people upon entering Club Q on Saturday with an AR-15-style rifle. The suspect was subdued with a handgun a person grabbed off of him.
- Officials said Sunday that police officers arrived on the scene within three minutes of being dispatched and apprehended the 22-year-old suspect two minutes later.
What they're saying: "While the suspect was inside of the club, at least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect, and were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others," Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez said on Sunday.
- Vasquez said police recovered at least two firearms at the scene.
- Police have yet to release details about the victims.
- Police confirmed Sunday that the suspect was also wounded. They said Monday he remained in custody at a local hospital.
Aldrich was charged with felony kidnapping and menacing after he allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb around a year and a half ago, according to AP.
- The previous charges against the suspect have raised questions on why authorities did not attempt to seize weapons and ammo he possessed under Colorado’s “red flag” law.
Colorado Springs, a city known for its conservative leanings, is home to some Christian leaders who have openly denounced homosexuality. Still, the city of roughly 500,000 people has a small LGBTQ community, Axios' Esteban L. Hernandez reports.
- Club Q was scheduled to host a Drag Brunch on Sunday morning, and to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance with an evening show.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional developments.