(Los Angeles) The gunman who killed five people when he opened fire at a Colorado LGBTQ+ club in late November was charged with 305 counts on Tuesday, including several for murder.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, has been in custody since the shooting, where at least 18 people were also injured.
The suspect, who his court-appointed attorneys say identifies as non-binary, appeared in court on Tuesday to be briefed on the long list of charges against him.
Among those are ten counts of murder – two for each victim. They face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, who did not speak at Tuesday’s appearance, also faces charges of attempted murder, hate crimes and assault.
Prosecutor Michael Allen told reporters that the sheer number of charges brought shows how seriously authorities take the attack.
“Obviously when you file 305 charges in a case, it’s a testament to our community that we’re taking this situation as seriously as possible,” he said.
Handcuffed, the bearded and portly suspect was wearing prison clothes and appeared to have recovered from injuries sustained when patrons at Club Q overpowered him, ending the carnage.
Richard Fierro, who was in the club, told the New York Times having caught the shooter as he was heading towards the terrace, where customers had taken refuge. Once the suspect was on the ground, this former soldier took his weapon and hit him on the head.
Matthew Haynes, one of the owners of Club Q, said the hate crime charges issued prove it was a targeted attack.
“The Club Q tragedy shows that words matter and have consequences in the real world,” he condemned, according to the newspaper. denver post.
“We continue to call on those who spread hate speech and encourage violence against the LGBTQ community to end this behavior immediately before others are harmed. »
Details have since emerged about the chaotic life of the suspect, whose parents were drug addicts and who experienced an unstable childhood.
A two-day preliminary hearing has been set for February 22.
A full jury trial may not take place until 2024, according to the prosecutor.