The suspect in last month’s Colorado Springs, Colorado, shooting at a gay nightclub has been formally charged with 305 counts, including hate crimes, police announced Tuesday.
The charges include 10 counts of first-degree murder, 70 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 48 counts of bias-motivated hate crimes, and 90 counts of first-degree assault.
District Attorney Michael Allen said at a press conference on Tuesday that the number of counts is subject to change as they determine how many people were in the club that night.
“We have the ability and the willingness to pursue this case to the very end and to achieve the right justice for these victims,” Allen said.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of storming the club before midnight dressed in tactical gear and armed with a pistol and an assault-style rifle, killing five people and injuring 22 others on Nov. 19. The attack ended when two patrons subdued the assailant.
Public defenders representing Aldrich said in a court filing that the suspect identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.
The arrest affidavit has been sealed and prosecutors are not releasing additional evidence at this time, Allen said. It’s not clear whether there will be federal charges related to this case.
The attack on Club Q took place the night before the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors transgender people killed in hateful acts of violence. The club planned to commemorate those lives lost with a drag brunch on Sunday, and had a “Drag Divas” event on the night the shooting occurred.
Before the shooting, Club Q was considered an LGBTQ safe haven in the conservative area of Colorado Springs, especially as anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric from conservative lawmakers and public figures has led to threats and real-life violence. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who represents a neighboring district, smeared LGBTQ people on social media before eventually saying the victims of the shooting and their families would be her in prayers.
Colorado is the location of an outsize number of mass killings, which renewed calls by Democratic members of the state’s Legislature for stronger gun laws.