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Club Q suspect pleads guilty in mass shooting, gets life in prison

Five people were killed and 17 were injured last fall in the shooting at the Colorado Springs gay nightclub.
Club Q suspect pleads guilty in mass shooting
Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 26, 2023

The person who carried out a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last November, was sentenced Monday to five consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 23, pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder and 46 counts of attempted first-degree murder. Aldrich also pleaded "no contest" to two charges of bias-motivated crimes.

In addition to the life sentences, the shooter was also sentenced to 2,208 years in prison on the first-degree attempted murder counts.

Aldrich entered the guilty plea Monday morning during an arraignment in an El Paso County courtroom. Judge Michael McHenry explained to the suspect and their legal team the implications of a plea deal and the rights they waived in pleading guilty.

SEE MORE: Colorado Springs readies for first Pride parade since Club Q shooting

The plea was expected after The Associated Press reported the suspect's plans earlier this month.

“I have to take responsibility for what happened,” Aldrich told the AP during a jailhouse interview for that story.

Michael Anderson was working as a bartender at Club Q on the night of the mass shooting and told Scripps News Denver he was enraged to hear what the suspect had to say.

“For [the suspect] to say, you know, 'I can't believe I would do something like this.' Well, it's hard to believe considering the months of planning that went into this coordinated hate attack on Club Q," Anderson said. 

The stories of the lives of the five victims of the shooting at Club Q include tales of friendly bartenders who were well-loved and looked after their patrons.

Daniel Aston was 28 years old and worked as a bartender at Club Q.

Raymond Green Vance was 22 years old. He was born in Chicago but spent most of his life in Colorado Springs.

Kelly Loving was 40 years old.

Ashley Paugh's husband, Kurt Paugh, said in a statement  that his wife meant everything to their family.

Derrick Rump was 38 years old and worked as a bartender at Club Q.

This article was originally published by Scripps News Denver.

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