Skip to main content

Home News News World

Colorado Club Q shooter sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder

"The sentence in this court is that such hate will not be tolerated," the Judge stated.

By Emily Maskell

Anderson Lee Aldrich's police photos.
Anderson Lee Aldrich is sentenced to life in prison. (Image: Twitter/CSPDPIO)

The shooter who murdered 5 individuals in an LGBTQ+ bar rampage in Colorado last November has been sentenced after pleading guilty.

On Monday (26 June) 23-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich was sentenced to life in prison for murder and other charges in the attack.

The plea deal was reached seven months after the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs on 19 November 2022.

The attack left 17 others wounded. The victims who lost their lives were Daniel Aston, 28; Derrick Rump, 38; Kelly Loving, 40; Ashley Paugh, 34; and, Raymond Vance, 22.

The defendant, whose lawyers said identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, stood in the courtroom to address questions from Judge Michael McHenry.

Aldrich was initially charged with more than 300 state counts, including murder and hate crime. 

Aldrich declined to address the court ahead of the sentencing. They pleaded guilty to five counts of murder and also 46 counts of attempted murder.

Furthermore, they also pleaded no contest to two hate crimes, one a felony and the other a misdemeanour.

“I intentionally and after deliberation caused the death of each victim,” Aldrich told judge Michael McHenry.

“He has broken this community into pieces that may never be repaired.”

Aldrich was also given multiple life sentences, ensuring that they will never be released. Additionally, as Colorado no longer imposes the death penalty, this sentencing without parole is the harshest punishment that can be handed out under state law.

The plea agreement was reached with prosecutors following months of discussion with survivors and relatives of the dead.

“When you commit a hate crime, you are targeting a group of people for their simple existence,” Judge Michael McHenry then said to Aldrich. “The sentence in this court is that such hate will not be tolerated.”

“He has destroyed a safe haven,” said Michael Anderson, a Club Q employee who survived the attack. “He has broken this community into pieces that may never be repaired.”

“This thing sitting in this court room is not a human, it is a monster,” said Jessica Fierro.

Fierro’s daughter’s boyfriend was killed that night, the BBC reports. Fierro also added: “The devil awaits with open arms.”