Club Q shooter sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to 53 charges

Anderson Lee Aldrich pleaded guilty to a total of 53 charges, including five first-degree murder charges, as well as hate crime charges.

Club Q shooter stands at podium during trial where he was sentenced to life in prison.

On Monday, June 26, Anderson Lee Aldrich, the shooter who attacked Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to 53 charges. These included five first-degree murder charges, 46 attempted first-degree murder charges, and two bias-motivated hate crimes. He was sentenced to five consecutive life in prison sentences without the possibility of parole.

Aldrich faced 305 criminal counts after attacking the queer venue in the United States on November 19, 2022, where he fired an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle toward club patrons, killing five people and injuring over 20 others.

Aldrich previously exhibited extreme hatred for LGBTQ+ people and other marginalised groups and told Judge Michael McHenry: “I intentionally and after deliberation caused the death of each victim.”

Judge McHenry said: “You are targeting a group of people for their simple existence. Like too many other people in our culture, you chose to find a power that day behind the trigger of a gun, your actions reflect the deepest malice of the human heart and malice is almost always born of ignorance and fear.”

Aldrich was sentenced to more than 2,000 years in jail and pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal during the hearing. The plea deal means Aldrich will avoid a trial, and family members and victims will not be subjected to viewing surveillance footage from Club Q in court.


The people who lost their lives during the attack were Ashley Paugh (34), Daniel Aston (28), Derrick Rump (38), Kelly Loving (40) and Raymond Green Vance (22). The courtroom was filled with their friends, family members and survivors who called the shooter a “monster” and “coward”.

Some gave statements to the court including, Club Q bartender Daniel Davis Aston’s dad, Jeff Aston, who said his son was in the prime of his life at the time of the shooting. He described his son as: “…a huge light in this world that was snuffed out by a heinous, evil and cowardly act,” adding: “I will never again hear him laugh at my dad jokes.”

Even after Monday’s sentence, Aston said he felt hollow inside. He said: “It’s not enough closure. Not even close.”

In previous hearings, testimonies indicated that Aldrich had viewed “neo-Nazi white supremacist” training videos online and had planned to livestream the attack.

The FBI was aware of Aldrich because he was arrested in June 2021 after allegedly threatening his family with violence and promising to become “the next mass killer,” but the case was dropped. In May, in the wake of the Club Q shooting, Colorado introduced new gun control legislation which includes a three-day waiting period and expands the district’s ‘red flag’ laws.

Before being targeted by the shooter, Club Q was a safe haven for the queer community in a small town. It has announced plans for rebuilding and reopening the space in Autumn 2023.

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