Gay Nightclub Shooter Will Plead Guilty To Hate Crime Charges And Avoid Death Penalty

Gay Nightclub Shooter Will Plead Guilty To Hate Crime Charges And Avoid Death Penalty
Image: Club Q shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich.

Gay Nightclub Club Q shooter Anderson Aldrich, who killed five and injured 19 others, will plead guilty to federal hate crime and firearm charges to avoid the death penalty. 

Twenty-three-year-old Aldrich had walked into Club Q on November 19, 2022. in tactical gear and started shooting, killing five people, before he was subdued by patrons. 

Last year, Aldrich was sentenced to five life sentences plus 2,208 years, after pleading guilty to multiple charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder that were brought by the state of Colorado. 

Premeditated Attack

Club Q shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich (22). Image: Colorado Springs Police Department.

According to the US Department of Justice, Alrdich will now plead guilty to federal hate crime and gun crime charges, in exchange for “multiple concurrent lids sentences”. 

Federal prosecutors had charged Aldrich with over 74 hate crimes and firearm charges. If convicted, Aldrich faced life imprisonment for the hate crime charges and ten years imprisonment to death on the firearm charges. 

As per the plea deal agreement, Aldrich has agreed to serve another 190 years in prison. The agreement said that the federal government was not seeking the death penalty for Aldrich. 

The Department of Justice called the shooting at Club Q a “willful, deliberate, malicious and premeditated attack.”

“Aldrich entered Club Q armed with a loaded assault weapon and began firing. Aldrich continued firing until Aldrich was subdued by patrons of the Club. The information also alleges that Aldrich committed this attack because of the actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity of any person,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Life In Prison

During the trial, state prosecutors said Aldrich ran a neo-Nazi website, and frequently used racist and anti-LGBTQI slurs during online games. He also had rainbow-coloured shooting targets in his room.

The judge while sentencing him to multiple life imprisonments, said that Alrdich “chose to find a power that day behind the trigger of a gun”.

“The sentence of this court is the judgment of the people of the state of Colorado that such hate will not be tolerated and that the LGBTQ+ community is as much a part of the family of humanity as you are”, the judge added.


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