Colorado gay club shooting suspect faces murder and hate crime charges


Five patrons of Club Q in Colorado gay nightclub shooting
Images: Colorado Police

Police are holding the Colorado Springs Club Q gay nightclub shooting suspect on murder and hate crime charges, as the city names the five dead and two heroes who saved dozens of lives.

The gunman entered the Colorado Springs LGBTIQ+ venue just before midnight on Saturday night and opened fire. He killed five people and shot 17 more before two patrons subdued him, police said.

The Associated Press reported the suspect in custody, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, now faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury in relation to the attack.

Prosecutors however have not yet formally filed the charges in court, and additional charges relating to those injured are likely.

Colorado Police have identified all five of the victims as Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Vance.

In tributes, family and friends confirmed Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump were both much-loved bartenders at Club Q.

Daniel was a transgender man and Kelly Loving was a trans woman, US media have reported. The gay nightclub shooting occurred on the eve of the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

In the hours after the horrific shooting, mourners have placed flowers and left tributes at a makeshift memorial near the nightclub.

Two Club Q clubgoers hailed as heroes for subduing gay club gunman

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers has also hailed two patrons, Richard Fierro and Thomas James, as heroes for subduing the gunman and “saving dozens and dozens of lives”.

Fierro, a US Army veteran and local brewery owner, was attending a drag performance at the club with his wife and daughter.

He grabbed the attacker’s own gun and hit him with it during the shooting.

Fierro recalled to the New York Times, “I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode.”

He recalled he and his family dropped to the floor after the shooter began firing. Fierro told the Times he saw the gunman moving towards a patio where patrons had fled to.

He said he raced towards him before grabbing him by the back of his body armour vest and pulling him to the ground.

“Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don’t know. I just knew I had to take him down.”

He said the man dropped his rifle and moved to grab a pistol, which Fierro grabbed out of his hand.

The other hero patron, Thomas James, reportedly helped to keep the gunman pinned down until Colorado Police arrived.

Mayor Suthers said the pair’s “incredible act of heroism” had saved lives.

“I have never encountered a person who engaged in such heroic actions that was so humble about it,” he said.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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