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Victims of deadly mass shooting at Colorado LGBTQ club identified; suspect faces murder and hate crime charges

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Victims identified in deadly LGBTQ club shooting 03:54

Authorities on Monday identified the victims of the deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, over the weekend. The man suspected of killing five people and wounding 17 others is facing murder and hate crime charges, according to online court records obtained Monday.

The five people killed were identified as: Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance. 

"Too often, society loses track of the victims of these sad and tragic events," said Colorado Springs police chief Adrian Vasquez during a Monday afternoon press conference, before leading the room in a moment of silence.  

Both Rump and Aston, 28, worked as bartenders at the club, CBS News confirmed.

Vasquez also identified the two "heroes" who subdued the suspect as Richard Fierro and Thomas James. According to a Facebook post by Club Q, the "quick reactions" of the two customers "subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack." 

Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers said Fierro told him that he was "trying to protect his family" when he defended himself and other clubgoers. 

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, the records show. The charges were preliminary, and prosecutors had not filed them in court as of Monday night. The hate crime charges would require proving that the gunman was motivated by bias, such as against the victims' actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, and authorities haven't so far given a suspected motive for the attack.

Court documents laying out what led to the suspect's arrest have been sealed at the request of prosecutors, who said releasing details could jeopardize the investigation. Information on a lawyer for the suspect was not immediately available. The suspect was in custody at a hospital, police said. He remains hospitalized Monday night with undisclosed injuries. 

Michael Allen, a lawyer in the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, said that in the near future, the suspect would appear in court from jail via video. 

Floral tributes are placed in memory of the victims after a mass shooting at the Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022.
Floral tributes are placed in memory of the victims after a mass shooting at the Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022. Reuters/Kevin Mohatt

On Monday afternoon, police clarified how many people were hurt in the shooting. According to Colorado Springs police, 17 victims had gunshot injuries and one victim suffered an injury that wasn't a gunshot wound. 

A hospital official on Monday said that three people were in stable condition at Centura Penrose Hospital. No further details were given about their injuries. Authorities had previously said at least seven people were in critical condition, although it was unclear on Monday if that had changed. No information was provided regarding what medical facilities any of the people who had been in critical condition were being or had been treated at. Suthers had told The Associated Press there was "reason to hope" all of those hospitalized would recover.

Police also said Monday that at least one person was a victim with no visible injury, and called for other people who saw or were near the shooting and were uninjured to come forward. 

"We know many more community members were present at Club Q during the shooting, who may be victims with no visible injuries," the police said on Twitter. "An example is a community member who ran out as the shooting occurred."

Speaking to "CBS Mornings" early Monday, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said he was saddened by the shooting.

"This is tragic, and it just feels like an evil person has come in and done something horrific in this community," Vasquez said.

In the Monday press conference, Suthers emphasized that there are resources available to community members in the wake of the shooting. 

"We all want to make sure that our community is not defined by this tragedy, but by our response to this," Suthers said. 

Already questions were being raised about why authorities didn't seek to take the suspect's guns away from him in 2021, when he was arrested after his mother reported he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.

Though authorities at the time said no explosives were found, gun control advocates are asking why police didn't try to trigger Colorado's "red flag" law, which would have allowed authorities to seize the weapons his mother says he had. There's also no public record prosecutors ever moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against the suspect.

The shooting rekindled memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. Colorado has experienced several mass killings, including at Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theater in suburban Denver in 2012 and at a Boulder supermarket last year.

It was the sixth mass killing this month and came in a year when the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

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