Colorado Springs shooting suspect faces hate crime, murder charges

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The man suspected of killing five people and injuring 25 others in a shooting Saturday at an LGBTQ+ bar in Colorado Springs is facing hate crime and murder charges, according to multiple reports.

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Authorities said Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, opened fire immediately after walking into Club Q late on Saturday. Court records obtained by the Colorado Springs Gazette showed Aldrich has been charged with five counts each of first-degree murder and bias-motivated crimes causing bodily injury. He remained hospitalized Monday, the newspaper reported.

Officials said Aldrich shot 30 people before he was subdued. Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said at least two “heroic people in the club” confronted Aldrich and fought with him. On Sunday, Club Q officials thanked “the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”

Thirteen people remained hospitalized on Monday, The New York Times reported.

Authorities said Sunday they were investigating whether the shooting was motivated by hate.

“The motive of the crime is part of the investigation and whether this is a hate crime is part of that investigation,” Vasquez said.

President Joe Biden said Sunday that while the motive for the shooting remained unclear, “we know that the LGBTQI+ community has been subjected to horrific hate violence in recent years.”

“Gun violence continues to have a devastating and particular impact on LGBTQI+ communities across our nation and threats of violence are increasing,” he said.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the shooting “horrific, sickening, and devastating.” In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the U.S., The Associated Press reported.

“My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” he said.

Officials continue to investigate.

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