LGBT Nightclub Shooter Sentenced To Thousands Of Years In Prison

( – In mid-November 2022, Anderson Lee Aldrich entered Club Q, an LGBTQ+ establishment in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and opened fire with an assault weapon. Six people were killed and another 19 were injured in the mass shooting. In 2023, he pleaded guilty to dozens of state charges for attempted murder and murder but pleaded no contest to hate crimes charges. Then, earlier this year, he was slapped with federal hate crime charges, which he pleaded guilty to. He’s now been sentenced on the latter.

On Tuesday, June 18, the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs announced that Aldrich had pleaded guilty to 74 federal gun and hate crime charges. For those offenses, he’s been “sentenced to 55 concurrent life sentences,” plus an additional 190 years. He accepted a plea deal that would keep the death penalty off the table.

US District Judge Charlotte Sweeney let the deal move forward but made Aldrich admit he carried out the crime based on biases, targeting the victims because of their sexuality or gender. She also noted the importance of sentencing him during Pride Month. Those admissions, according to federal prosecutor Alison Connaughty, were “important to the government and it’s important to the community of Club Q.”

Last year, in state court, Aldrich pleaded guilty to five first-degree murder counts and charges related to the shooting. He was sentenced to five life sentences plus an additional 2,208 years in prison.

The victims’ families spoke out at the hearing and expressed their anger. Estella Bell, whose grandson, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, died in the shooting, told Aldrich to “eat rat poison and then go to hell.” However, Wyatt Kent, a drag queen working in the club on the night of the attack, took a different approach. “I forgive you,” they said, noting that Aldrich would never again experience joy and beauty in his life.

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