The suspect in last month’s shooting that killed five people and injured 17 others at the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs, was officially charged with hate crimes and murder on Tuesday. File Photo by Liz Copan/EPA-EFE
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The suspect in last month's mass shooting that killed five people and injured 17 others at the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs, was officially charged with hate crimes and murder on Tuesday.
District Attorney Michael Allen confirmed at a news conference that Anderson Lee Aldrich was formally charged with 305 criminal counts related to the shooting, which happened just before midnight on Nov. 19.
Aldrich sat with lawyers but did not speak in court on Tuesday.
Aldrich had been expected to face hate crime charges, but prosecutors needed first to confirm there was adequate evidence to show a bias.
The 22-year-old made a virtual court appearance in November, from a wheelchair after being released from a hospital. They were transferred to jail following treatment for injuries suffered while being disarmed by clubgoers.
In court filings, public defenders identified Aldrich as a nonbinary person who uses they/them pronouns.
In addition to those killed, 17 other clubgoers were wounded by gunfire, five others were injured by something else, while 12 were victims with no visible injuries.
The killing stopped after Aldrich was wrestled to the ground by patrons, and beaten into submission.
"This case we expect to be very voluminous (and) will probably take some time for defense (lawyers) to digest it and be ready for presentation of evidence at a preliminary hearing," Allen said during Tuesday's news conference.
Prosecutors and lawyers for Aldrich agreed to ask the judge to schedule preliminary hearings for May.
However, District Judge Michael McHenry told both sides the hearing can start sooner, ordering lawyers to be ready for a two-day preliminary hearing beginning on Feb. 22.
Allen on Tuesday did not comment on a report that Aldrich had been named a suspect in a 2021 bomb threat in El Paso County, Texas.