Club Q shooter charged with 50 federal hate crimes

ByLuke Barr ABCNews logo
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Club Q shooter pleads guilty, called 'monster' who hunted patrons
The guilty plea comes just seven months after the shooting and spares victim's families and survivors a long and potentially painful trial.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The shooter who killed five people and injured 40 at an LGBTQIA+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes Tuesday.

Anderson Aldrich was charged with more than 50 federal hate crime violations stemming from the November 2022 shooting at Club Q.

Aldrich, who opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle, pleaded guilty last year to state murder charges and was sentenced to over 2,000 years in state prison.

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

As was described in detail in the aftermath of the attack, Aldrich was only stopped after two patrons forcibly removed the gun from him.

"The defendant's attack on Club Q interfered with the club's ability to do business and provide a safe, fun, and welcoming environment for patrons who had gathered there during and after the drag show as part of a weekend of events related to Transgender Day of Remembrance," the court documents said.

The federal criminal complaint noted that Aldrich, who was 22 at the time, was wearing a tactical vest with ballistic plates and had "at least two additional magazines loaded with ammunition.

Though hate crimes resulting in death charge qualifies for the death penalty, court documents filed jointly by the Justice Department and Aldrich's lawyer on Jan. 9 indicate there has been a plea agreement that removed the death penalty from the table.

"Among other provisions, the agreement provides that the defendant will plead guilty to every count of a 74-count Information charging him with federal hate crimes in violation of relevant provisions of the Shepard-Byrd Act, 18 U.S.C. 249, and appurtenant gun crimes in violation of the relevant provisions of 18 U.S.C. 924," the court documents filed said.

"The United States is not seeking the death penalty in this case. The parties have agreed that multiple concurrent life sentences plus a consecutive sentence of 190 years imprisonment is sufficient but not greater than necessary to achieve the goals of criminal justice," the court documents said.

The court docket indicates a plea hearing will be scheduled in the near future.

A lawyer for Aldrich did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.