The accused shooter in the attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs is facing 10 preliminary charges, including five counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime, according to a court record.
A docket sheet for Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, shows that a warrant has been issued for those charges. The murder charges are Class 1 felonies and the bias-motivated crime charges, which apply to hate crimes, are Class 5 felonies.
The warrant and the detective’s affidavit that provides the supporting evidence for that warrant have been sealed, according to court records.
“If the information arrest warrant affidavit was to be released, it could jeopardize the ongoing case investigation,” prosecutors wrote in a request to seal the warrant.
The attack on Club Q, a gathering space and focal point for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs, killed five people late Saturday and early Sunday. In revised numbers released Monday, police said 17 people in the club were wounded by gunfire. One person was injured during the attack but was not shot, and police described an additional person as a victim who did not suffer any visible injuries.
“We know many more community members were present at Club Q during the shooting, who may be victims with no visible injuries,” a news release from Colorado Springs police stated.
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As of mid-day Monday, police said Aldrich was being held in a local hospital with undisclosed injuries. A search of the El Paso County Jail’s online inmate locator on Monday morning did not return a result for Aldrich. A search of Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrest records also did not return a result, making it unclear whether Aldrich had actually been arrested yet.
The court record did not show an attorney for Aldrich.
It is common in criminal cases for police and prosecutors to file preliminary arrest charges. Formal charges by prosecutors are still to come and will likely be a far longer list, potentially including assault and attempted murder.
Because injuries are not always a prerequisite for charging a suspect with a crime of violence, it is possible that prosecutors could list everyone who was in the club at the time of the attack as victims and file charges on behalf of each of them. Police have not released an estimate for how many people were inside when the shooting occurred.
Colorado law also allows suspects to be charged under multiple theories of murder in the killing of one person. For instance, a defendant could be charged with both murder after deliberation and murder with extreme indifference. For that reason, it is common in public mass shootings in Colorado for suspects to be charged eventually with more counts of murder than there were victims killed.