Colorado nightclub shooting victims ID’d, police hail heroes who took suspect down

The Colorado Springs Police Department on Monday identified the five people who were killed in a Saturday night shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub. 

Speaking at an afternoon press conference, Police Chief Adrian Vasquez identified the victims as Kelly Loving, 40; Daniel Aston, 28; Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, 35; and Raymond Green. He identified the “heroes” who took down the gunman as Thomas James and Richard Fiero, a decorated Army veteran.

“[O]ften society loses track of the victims of these sad and tragic events. In all the talk about the suspect, we strive to give the victims the dignity and respect that they deserve, as well as shine the light of public attention on the victims,” Vasquez said in announcing their identifies. 

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Authorities have identified 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich as the suspect in Saturday night’s attack at Club Q. He was charged Monday with five counts of first-degree murder and five charges of committing a bias-motivate crime causing bodily injury in Saturday night’s attack at Club Q. He remained hospitalized with unspecified injuries, police said.

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Colorado’s 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said once the suspect is released from the hospital he will have a first appearance scheduled in court. 

The charges were preliminary, and prosecutors had not filed them in court, Allen said. 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. 

The attack was halted when a patron grabbed a handgun from Aldrich, hit him with it and pinned him down until police arrived minutes later.

Court documents laying out what led to Aldrich’s arrest have been sealed at the request of prosecutors, who said releasing details could jeopardize the investigation. Information on whether Aldrich had a lawyer was not immediately available.

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A law enforcement official told The Associated Press the suspect used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon, and a handgun and additional ammunition magazines also were recovered. 

Thirteen people remained hospitalized Monday, officials said. Five people have been treated and released.

The assault quickly raised questions about why authorities did not seek to take Aldrich’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 have asked why police didn’t use Colorado’s “red flag” laws to seize the weapons his mother says he had. There’s no public record that prosecutors ever moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Aldrich.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Allen acknowledged Colorado’s “restrictive sealing laws,” whereby cases filed in a courtroom in the state of Colorado and are dismissed are automatically sealed.

Separately, a spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints confirmed to Fox News Digital that Aldrich is on its membership rolls but has not been active in the church for over a decade. 

“The senseless act of violence in Colorado Springs is of great sadness and concern to us. We are greatly troubled by any violence in our communities and condemn most especially violent acts that are the result of intolerance against any of God’s children,” the church said. 

“We join with others in mourning the loss of those whose lives were taken and offer prayers of comfort and deepest condolences to their loved ones. We also pray for healing for the survivors of this shocking shooting and express our love to them.”

Other outlets were reporting that Aldrich is the biological grandson of outgoing California Assemblyman Randy Voepel. His office could not be reached to confirm the relationship.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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