Club Q Shooter Sentenced to Life Without Possibility of Parole

El Paso County District Attorney Michael J. Allen on June 26, 2023, announces plea deal with shooter in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. (YouTube screenshot from KRDO)

In a press conference June 26 after the final court hearing, El Paso County (Colo.) District Attorney Michael J. Allen announced that a plea deal had been reached with the shooter in last November’s mass shooting at the LGBTQ entertainment venue Club Q.

Colorado Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Michael McHenry accepted the plea deal worked out with Allen’s office where Anderson Lee Aldrich, 23, pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree, 46 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. 

McHenry said that Aldrich will receive five consecutive life sentences without the possibility for parole on the murder charges, and will also receive 46 consecutive 48-year sentences for the attempted murder counts, which totals 2,208 years, followed by mandatory periods of parole. This is a final decision — a trial can not happen at a later date.

Prior to sentencing, the first victim impact statements came from the loved ones of the five murdered victims:

  • Daniel Aston
  • Kelly Loving
  • Derrick Rump
  • Ashley Paugh
  • Raymond Vance

Which was followed by the statements on behalf of the other victims, survivors and families of survivors.

In addition to Allen, other officials including Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade, Police Chief Adrian Vasquez, Deputy Fire Chief of Operations Jayme McConnellogue, former Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers along with representatives of the FBI, sheriff’s office and others spoke to the gathered reporters, witnesses families and victims.

Vasquez noted that while the families of those killed will never get their loved ones back and survivors will never will forget their experience, Vasquez vowed “that we will never forget.” He then listed the five victims by name pivoting the highlight and praise the heroic acts that happened in the moments during and directly after the gunman was tackled and held down by other two other club goers, one of whom had been shot and seriously wounded.

The chief thanked the LGBTQ community for “their patience,” and he then introduced Mobolade.

Mobolade, a Nigerian American businessman and politician and the city’s first Black mayor, opened his remarks by addressing the victim’s families and survivors.

“We see you, we remember you and we will be here for you, that’s my pledge” he said.

McConnellogue, told those assembled that as the mother of a gay son, the impact of the shooting was felt throughout the entire community of Colorado Springs. The chief ended her emotional statement quoting by name slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk saying: “Hope is never silent.”

 Washington Blade courtesy of the National LGBTQ Media Association.


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