Anderson Lee Aldrich has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and multiple counts of bias-motivated crimes, among dozens of other charges, after the suspected shooter allegedly fired into a Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub last month, killing five people and injuring more than a dozen others.
The 22-year-old suspect was formally charged with 305 criminal counts on 6 December, more than two weeks after the mass shooting inside the club that has rocked the city’s LGBT+ community.
Aldrich allegedly was armed with an AR-style rifle and a handgun before entering Club Q on 19 November, when law enforcement officials say the shooter “immediately” began firing moments before club patrons subdued the attacker.
Other charges include attempted murder and assault in the first degree and second degree.
Aldrich appeared in court in person on Tuesday wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit. Aldrich, whose attorneys have identified the suspect as nonbinary and claims to use they and them pronouns, remains in jail without bond as the case proceeds.
Law enforcement agencies did not reveal an alleged motive in the attack, but the club’s owners and LGBT+ advocates have condemned a surge of inflammatory anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric and politicised harassment from right-wing and religious figures and Republican officials in the weeks and months that preceded the attack.
An arrest affidavit – which can include law enforcement’s perceived narrative of the attack and how it unfolded – has remained under seal since the attack. It is expected to be unsealed on Wednesday.
This is a developing story