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Federal judge accepts plea deal for Club Q shooter, hands down 55 concurrent life sentences in Colorado

Federal judge accepts plea deal for Club Q shooter, will serve 55 concurrent life sentences
Federal judge accepts plea deal for Club Q shooter, will serve 55 concurrent life sentences 01:43

The gunman who opened fire in an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs in 2022 was sentenced on federal charges on Tuesday. 

Five people were killed and 19 were injured at Club Q in a mass shooting that left a painful wound on the Colorado community. Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, called it a "brazen and calculated attack against innocent people."

"This was one of the most violent hate-fueled mass shootings targeting the LGBTQIA+ community in our nation's history," she said. "This tragedy runs contrary to our most basic American values, respect for the sanctity of life and the intrinsic worth of every human being."

Club Q in Colorado Springs CBS

Late last year the shooter was sentenced to life in prison on state charges and was transferred from a Colorado prison to a Wyoming State Penitentiary. The convicted killer had pleaded guilty in state court to five counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder, plus no contest to two counts of bias-motivated crimes. That resulted in a sentence that included five consecutive life terms plus 2,208 years in prison.

On Tuesday morning Anderson Lee Aldrich pleaded guilty to dozens of federal hate crime and weapons charges. Those pleas were entered under a deal with prosecutors that allowed the shooter to avoid the death penalty and instead be sentenced to multiple life sentences for the hate crimes.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the judge accepted the plea deal with prosecutors, and the sentence is 55 life sentences on the hate crime charges followed by 190 years on gun charges and other counts.

Department of Justice discusses sentence for Club Q shooter after guilty plea to federal charges 17:39

"Prior to committing this heinous crime the defendant created a website to post videos espousing racist ideology and discussing racially motivated mass shootings. The defendent used online platforms to spew anti-gay and anti-transgender views," said Clarke.

Family members of victims of the Nov. 19, 2022, shooting made emotional statements to the judge and asked for the death penalty. Prosecutors said in a filing on Jan. 9 that they would not be seeking the death penalty.

The shooter was also allowed to make a statement in the courtroom but decided not to do so.

The shooter was arrested approximately 5 minutes after the shooting started and after people who were at the bar jumped into action and were able to detain the shooter. 


All of the following people were killed in the shooting: Ashley Paugh, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Raymond Green Vance and Kelly Loving. They ranged in age from 22 to 40.

Since the shooting, the nightclub has changed locations. It is now open in the Satellite Hotel, located several miles south in Colorado Springs.

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