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Suspect in Club Q Makes First Comments While Plea Expected: Report

Suspect in Club Q Makes First Comments While Plea Expected: Report

Club Q

Authorities have reportedly been in contact with surivvors of the massacre at Club Q to prepare them for the news.


The alleged gunman in the massacre of the gay club Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., is expected to accept a plea deal.

The Associated Press reported the news on Thursday after conversations with several survivors of the mass shooting.

Anderson Lee Aldrich is reportedly making a plea deal to the state murder and hate charges that would result in a life sentence, according to the news wire.

The suspect, 23, spoke to the AP in a series of jailhouse phone calls where they spoke about being remorseful for the deadly shooting that killed five and wounded tens of others.

The suspect allegedly entered Club Q minutes before midnight on November 19 with an AR-style weapon and a handgun and opened fire, killing Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Derrick Rump. Most of the injured suffered gunshot wounds, according to police.

November's attack was halted by two patrons who took down and contained the suspect until police arrived at the club, which was seen as a safe space for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs.

“I have to take responsibility for what happened,” Aldrich said.

The AP writes that it had sent Aldrich a handwritten letter asking about the 2021 kidnapping arrest that many say should have made Aldrich known to local police. Charges in the case were dropped. Aldrich phoned the AP asking for money in exchange for an interview, which the wire declined. However, Aldrich ended up calling late last month.

While local authorities and Aldrich’s defense attorneys declined to comment to the wire, survivors of the attack as well as people who lost loved ones in the shooting told the AP that authorities gave them notice that Aldrich would be pleading guilty.

The AP spoke with Aldrich in six calls.

“Nothing’s ever going to bring back their loved ones. People are going to have to live with injury that can’t be repaired,” Aldrich said. When asked why the shooting happened, Aldrich replied, “I don’t know. That’s why I think it’s so hard to comprehend that it did happen. ... I’m either going to get the death penalty federally or I will go to prison for life, that’s a given.”

They told the AP they were on drugs during the attack.

Authorities have also reportedly asked survivors to prepare a victim-impact statement before a June 26 hearing, and that they should also prepare for the potential release of the video showing the carnage.

Aldrich is facing more than 300 charges, and the U.S. Justice Department is considering federal hate crimes charges.

Some of those who listened to the AP’s recordings of Aldrich’s statements called them calculated and lacked motivation behind the violence.

Statements like “I just can’t believe what happened” and “I wish I could turn back time,” were meaningless to them in the face of evidence found by officers that included online screeds and maps of Club Q.

“This community has to live with what happened, with collective trauma, with PTSD, trying to grieve the loss of our friends, to move past emotional wounds and move past what we heard, saw and smelled,” said Michael Anderson, a bartender at Club Q who saw several people die at the bar.

He said no one has sympathy for Aldrich.

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