A suspect accused of killing five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in the US has been charged with murder, a hate crime and battery.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of breaking into Club Q on Nov. 19 during a drag queen birthday celebration in Colorado Springs.
Sitting upright in his chair, he appeared alert during today’s hearing in El Paso District Court.
Police and witnesses said a suspect entered the club armed with a rifle and pistol and opened fire indiscriminately.
Another 22 people suffered gunshot wounds or other injuries.
Two men with military backgrounds — Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Richard Fierro, and Navy Officer 2nd Class Thomas James — Subdue the suspect until the police arrived.
Mr. Fierro told reporters he disarmed the suspect and whipped him into submission with a pistol.
Among the photographs he keeps, Aldrich has he has bruises on his face and neck.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Aldridge faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Had his case remained at the state level, he would not have faced the death penalty because the death penalty is no longer on Colorado’s statute books.
However, he could still face the death penalty in federal court if prosecutors decide to charge him with a crime under the U.S. Code.