Gay bar shooting suspect faces murder, hate crime ( News Hawaii )

Colorado Springs, Colo. — The suspect who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs was charged with murder and hate crime charges Monday, as hundreds of people gathered to honor the five people killed and 17 wounded in the attack on the venue. which for a decade was a sanctuary for the local LGBTQ community.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces five counts of murder and five counts of assault causing bodily harm in the Saturday night attack at Club Q, online records show.

Authorities said the attack was prevented by two club patrons, including Richard Fierro, who told reporters Monday night that he took a handgun from Aldrich, hit him, and pinned him down with another helper.

Fierro, a 15-year U.S. Army veteran who owns a local grocery store, said he was celebrating his birthday with family members when the suspect “came in the shots.” Fierro said he ran into the suspect, who was wearing a type of plate armor, and knocked him down before beating him severely until police arrived.

He said to them: I tried to save the people, and he did not make five men of them. “These are all good people. … I’m not brave. I’m just some dude.”

The daughter of Fierro’s longtime boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, 22, was killed when his daughter injured her knee to seek cover. Fierro injured his hands, knees and ankle while shooting.

The suspect remained hospitalized with unspecified injuries but is expected to make his first appearance in the next two days after doctors cleared him to be released from the hospital.

The charges against Aldrich were preliminary, and prosecutors had not yet filed formal charges in court. A hate crime charge would require proving that the gunman was motivated by passion, such as against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual identity.

Local and federal authorities declined to answer questions in a Monday news briefing about why the crime is being considered a hate crime, citing an ongoing investigation. District Attorney Michael Allen noted that murder charges carry the heaviest penalty — life in prison — when pretrial motion charges go into probation.

“But it’s important for the community to know that we do not tolerate motivated crimes at this meeting, because we support communities that have been harassed, harassed and terrorized and abused,” Allen said. “And one way we can do that is by showing us where we’re going to put our money, essentially, and make sure we try that way.”

Additions are possible as the survey adds, he said.

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