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Alleged shooter of gay nightclub charged with murders, hate crimes

Anderson Lee Aldrich in court. Associated Press/Photo by El Paso County District Court

Alleged shooter of gay nightclub charged with murders, hate crimes

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged the suspect accused of opening fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs with a total 305 criminal counts, including hate crimes and murders. Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of entering Club Q in Colorado Springs on Nov. 19 just before midnight and killing five people and wounding 17 others. An Army veteran wrestled him to the ground, stopping the shooting. Prosecutors charged him with 48 hate crime charges—one for each person known to be in the club. Aldrich faces severe penalties, up to life in prison for the murder charges.

Were there any warning signs? One year ago, SWAT teams and the bomb squad responded to the home of Aldrich’s grandparents in Colorado Springs, according to court documents verified by The Associated Press. During the standoff with the SWAT team, his grandparents and neighbors had to be evacuated under a bomb threat. Aldrich live-streamed the standoff before he eventually surrendered. But authorities dropped any charges related to that day and Aldrich’s weapons were not seized under Colorado’s “red flag” laws. The court records were sealed, so the district attorney general and sheriff have not discussed the event.

Dig deeper: Read Bethel McGrew’s column in World Opinions on Aldrich’s early life.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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