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Club Q shooter sentenced to 55 life sentences plus 190 years in prison for federal hate crimes

Anderson Lee Aldrich
Colorado Department of Corrections

Anderson Lee Aldrich pleaded guilty to and was sentenced for federal hate crimes and firearms charges for the mass shooting that left five people dead and around 20 injured.

Cwnewser

The person who murdered and maimed people during a mass shooting at anLGBTQ+ bar inColorado has been sentenced to multiple life sentences.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 24, has been sentenced to 55 concurrent life sentences plus an additional 190 years in prison for the horrific mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. This sentencing follows Aldrich’s guilty plea to 74 federalhate crimes and firearms charges related to the November 19, 2022, attack on the nightclub.

A Justice Department’spress release revealed that Aldrich admitted to the premeditated, malicious killing of five people, injuring 19 others, and attempting to kill 26 more. Aldrich’s rampage was only stopped by the brave patrons ofClub Q despite his being armed with a privately manufactured assault weapon. The plea agreement confirms that Aldrich’s actions were driven by hatred towards the sexual orientation and gender identity of the victims.

Aldrich is currently serving five life sentences with an additional 2,208 years after pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree murder and other state charges last year. After his arrest, attorneys said Aldrich identified asnonbinary. However, prosecutors noted there wasno prior indication of Aldrich identifying as nonbinary before the shooting, suggesting it was a tactic to avoid hate crime charges.

In January,federal hate crimes charges were brought against Aldrich, with the potential for the death penalty. On January 16, Aldrich pleaded not guilty to these new charges, which included 50 hate crimes and 24 weapons charges.

“Fueled by hate, the defendant targeted members of the LGBTQIA+ community at a place that represented belonging, safety, and acceptance – stealing five people from their loved ones, injuring 19 others, and striking fear across the country,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing makes clear that the Justice Department is committed to protecting the right of every person in this country to live free from the fear that they will be targeted by hate-fueled violence or discrimination based on who they are or who they love.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray praised the selflessness of Club Q’s patrons, who subdued Aldrich during the attack. “ThisPride Month and every month, the FBI stands with the survivors, victims, and families of homophobic violence and hate,” Wray said.

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach echoed this sentiment, highlighting the ongoing struggle for safety within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly during Pride Month. “I hope today’s life sentence brings at least some peace to the victims and survivors of this senseless, horrific tragedy. 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,’ Dettlebach said.

“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. 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,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “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.”

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).