© Reuters. Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the suspect in the mass shooting that killed five people and wounded 17 at an LGBTQ nightclub appears with state public defenders before a judge during his advisement hearing in a video link from jail, slumped to the side and in

(Reuters) -A 23-year-old Colorado Springs resident on Monday pleaded guilty to murder and other crimes in a 2022 shooting that killed five people at a gay nightclub in that southern Colorado city, his lawyers said at a court hearing.

Anderson Lee Aldrich faces life in prison without the possibility of parole after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

On Nov. 19, 2022, Aldrich, wearing body armor, opened fire at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub. Apart from those killed, nearly two dozen others were wounded by gunfire or otherwise injured before being stopped by “heroic” patrons.

Aldrich, then 22, was arrested and charged with 323 criminal counts, among them first-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and bias-motivated crimes. The most severe charges carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Colorado no longer has a death-penalty statute. However, Aldrich could face a death sentence in federal court if prosecutors decide to bring charges under the U.S. code, which still has capital punishment on its books for certain crimes.

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The shooting at Club Q was reminiscent of a massacre in 2016 when a gunman killed 49 people at the gay Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, before he was shot dead by police.

Aldrich was formally charged last Dec. 6 and did not enter a plea at the time.

Those killed in the shooting were identified as Kelly Loving, 40; Daniel Aston, 28; Derrick Rump, 38; Ashley Paugh, 34; and Raymond Green Vance, 22.

Aldrich was known to law enforcement, having been arrested in June 2021. Aldrich’s mother had reported Aldrich’s threatened to detonate a bomb and harm her with multiple weapons, according to a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Aldrich’s mother declined to testify for the prosecution and the case was dismissed.


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