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Club Q shooter expected to plead guilty on 74 federal hate crime, gun charges

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(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — The shooter who killed five and injured over a dozen more at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2022 is expected to accept a plea deal Tuesday and be sentenced in connection with federal hate crimes charges.

Anderson Lee Aldrich is expected to plead guilty to each of the 74 charges of violating provisions of the Matthew Shepard And James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 as well as gun crimes in the Club Q shooting, according to court documents filed on Jan. 9.

Federal prosecutors are recommending a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, to be followed by a 190-year sentence of imprisonment, according to court documents filed on June 4. Prosecutors said in a Jan. 9 filing they would not be seeking the death penalty.

The sentencing recommendation details Aldrich’s alleged past use of online platforms “to express anti-gay and anti-transgender views,” use of anti-gay slurs and harassment of a gay co-worker in the years preceding the attack.

In addition to the federal charges, Aldrich was already sentenced to over 2,000 years in state prison in June 2023 after pleading guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree and 46 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. Aldrich pleaded no contest to two bias-motivated crimes.

Aldrich opened fire in Club Q with an AR-15 style rifle and was wearing a tactical vest with ballistic plates and had “at least two additional magazines loaded with ammunition,” on the night of Nov. 19, 2022. The club had just hosted a drag show that night as one of several events to honor Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, according to court documents.

Aldrich was only stopped after two patrons forcibly removed their gun.

Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance were killed in the attack.

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