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Gay bar shooting suspect faces murder, hate crime charges | State News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) — A man suspected of shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs has been charged with murder and hate crime Monday, two days after an attack that killed five and left 17 with gunshot wounds. detained on suspicion.

Online court records show 22-year-old Anderson-Lee Aldrich is guilty of five counts of murder and five counts of prejudice-motivated crime and causing personal injury in an attack Saturday night at Club Q. He is accused of

The charges were provisional and prosecutors had not brought charges to court. Hate crime accusations require proof that the shooter was motivated by prejudice, including prejudice against the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

The attack was halted when a patron grabbed a handgun from Aldrich, beat him with it, and pinned him down until police arrived minutes later.

Court documents describing the circumstances leading to Aldrich’s arrest have been sealed at the request of prosecutors, who said releasing the details could jeopardize the investigation. Information about whether there were any was not immediately available.

Law enforcement officials said the suspect used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, but a handgun and an additional ammunition cache were also recovered. He told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Officials on Monday said 18 people were injured in the attack, not the 25 they initially said, including one other than a gunshot wound. Another victim had no visible injuries, they said.

Thirteen people remained hospitalized on Monday, officials said. Five people were treated and released.

Mayor John Suthers said he had “reason to hope” that all hospitalized victims would make a recovery.

the question was immediately posed On why authorities didn’t try to take Aldrich’s gun away from him in 2021 when he was arrested after his mother reported he threatened him with self-made bombs and other weapons.

At the time, officials said no explosives were found, but gun control advocates wondered why police didn’t use Colorado’s “red flag” laws to seize the weapon the mother said was carrying. No prosecutor on public records has ever advanced a felony kidnapping and intimidation charge against Aldrich.

Memories are revived by shooting The 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It killed 49 people. Colorado has witnessed multiple mass murders, including Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theater outside Denver in 2012, and a supermarket in Boulder last year.

It was the sixth mass murder this month and came in a year when the country was in turmoil. 21 dead in Uvalde, Texas school shooting.

Violence has broken through the cozy boundaries of entertainment venues that have long been treasured as safe havens for the conservative city’s LGBTQ community.

The makeshift monument, which popped up just hours after the attack, continued to grow on Monday.

“It’s a reminder that love and acceptance still have a long way to go,” Colorado Springs resident Mary Nickell told the site. They say it’s important…we’re not going to let it go.”

Residents said the club was one of the few nightspots for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs. At 11:57 pm on Saturday, authorities were called to report multiple shootings and the co-pilot arrived in the middle of the night.

Joshua Thurman said he was in a club with about 20 other people and dancing when the shot started. I thought it was part of the music until I told you.

Thurman, 34, ran into a locker room and hid with others. went up to

“I could have lost my life—for what?” he said, tears streaming down his cheeks. We were in our own spaces, our communities, our homes, having fun like everyone else.”

Detectives were investigating whether anyone helped the suspect before the attack. Police Chief Adrian Vazquez said patrons who intervened during the attack were “heroic” and prevented more deaths.

Club Q is a gay and lesbian nightclub that hosts drag shows on Saturdays, according to its website. According to Club Q’s Facebook page, planned entertainment includes a “punk and alternative show” before a birthday dance party, and an all-ages drug brunch on Sunday.

drag event Anti-LGBTQ focus rhetoric and protest Recently, opponents, including politicians, have proposed banning children from them, falsely claiming that they are accustomed to “grooming” them.

the shooting happened during transgender awareness week and just at the beginning of sunday transgender memorial daywhen events are held around the world to mourn and commemorate transgender people lost to violence.

Located 70 miles (110 km) south of Denver, Colorado Springs, with a population of about 480,000, is home to the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Olympic Training Center, and a prominent evangelical Christian lobbyist against the United States. There is also a religious ministry, Focus on the Family. LGBTQ rights. The group condemned the shooting, saying it “exposes the evil and wickedness in the human heart”.

In 2015, three people died and eight were injured when gunmen targeted the clinic for performing abortions at the city’s Planned Parenthood clinic.

Since 2006, as of November 19, there have been 523 mass murders and 2,727 deaths, according to the National Police Agency. Associated Press/USA Today Database on Mass Murder in the United States

Bedayn is a member of the Associated Press/Reports for America Statehouse News Initiative. Reporting to America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues.

Contributed by Associated Press reporters Haven Daly of Colorado Springs, Colleen Slevin of Denver, Michael Balsamo of Washington, Jamie Stengl of Dallas, Jeff McMillan of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Matthew Brown of Billings, Montana. . Gay bar shooting suspect faces murder, hate crime charges | State News

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