The suspect accused of killing five people in a mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs has been formally charged with 305 counts, including murder, attempted murder, assault and bias-motivated crimes.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, was present when the charges were announced by Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District Attorney, Michael Allen, in court on 6 December.
They allegedly entered the LGBTQ+ venue late 19 November with an AR-style weapon and a handgun before opening fire, ultimately killing Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Derrick Rump.
At least 19 others were injured.
“We are not going to tolerate actions against community members based on their sexual identity,” said Allen. “Members of that community have been harassed, intimidated and abused for too long.”
Prosecutors previously stated that they were unsure whether or not the hate crime charges Aldrich had previously been held on would stick due to the evidence needed to show it was a crime motivated by bias.
Club Q’s owner, Nic Grzecka, recently announced that he has every intention of one day reopening the establishment.
“We’re currently working on another space we have, another venue,” he said, according to NPR. “We’re hoping we can get some funds and people to help get this other space open so we can get our employees back to work and give people a space to go to again.”