Club Q Shooter Sentenced to 55 Life Sentences (190 Years) Without Parole

Club Q Shooter Sentenced to 55 Life Sentences (190 Years) Without Parole
Image: Image: David Zalubowski/AP

Club Q shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich, 24, has been sentenced to 55 concurrent life sentences, to run consecutive to 190 years in prison, without parole.

He pled guilty to 74 hate crimes and firearms charges related to the 2022 mass shooting at LGBTQI+ venue Club Q.

As part of a plea agreement, Aldrich pled guilty to murdering five people, and the attempted murder of 46 (one count for each person in the club) in a deliberate, malicious, and premeditated attack on the LGBTQI+ community. 

During sentencing, Judge Charlotte Sweeney told Aldrich, “This community is much stronger than you”.

“This community is stronger than your armour, stronger than your weapons, and it’s sure as heck stronger than your hatred.”

Club Q shooting 

The Colorado Springs Club Q mass shooting is one of the destructive and heartbreaking attacks on the LGBTQI+ community in US history. 

Five patrons of the gay bar were murdered, and 25 others were injured – 19 of them by gunfire.

Aldrich entered Club Q, armed with a loaded semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, just before midnight on November 19 during a regular drag show, and began firing.

He continued firing until subdued by patrons of the club.

Aldrich murdered Daniel Aston, 28; Kelly Loving, 40; Ashley Paugh, 35; Derrick Rump, 38; and Raymond Green Vance, 22, during the incident.

As part of the plea, Aldrich admitted that his motivation for the premeditated attack was patrons was their (actual or perceived) sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

He also admitted to spending more than US$9,000 on weapons, and visiting the club multiple times in order to become familiar with its layout.

“A small measure of justice”

“I hope today’s life sentence brings at least some peace to the victims and survivors of this senseless, horrific tragedy,” Steven Dettelbach, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) told The National LGBT Media Association.

“That this sentence should come during Pride month reinforces how far we have left to go before all communities, including all LGBTQIA+ communities, are safe here. It also shows how far ATF and all our partners will go to ensure hatred does not win.”

“The defendant’s mass shooting and heinous targeting of Club Q is one of the most devastating assaults on the LGBTQIA+ community in our nation’s history,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“This sentence cannot reclaim the lives lost or undo the harms inflicted. But we hope that it provides the survivors, the victims’ families, and their communities a small measure of justice.

“Our message today should be loud and clear. No one should have to fear for their life or their safety because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

“The Justice Department will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who perpetrate hate-fueled, bias-driven attacks.”

“Hate has no place in our country”

“Hate has no place in our country and no place in Colorado” said Acting U.S. Attorney Matt Kirsch for the District of Colorado. 

“I hope that today’s sentence demonstrates to the victims and those connected to this horrific event that we do not tolerate these heinous acts of violence.”

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