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Colorado LGBTQ nightclub shooting: Questions linger over how suspect got guns despite past arrest

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Colorado LGBTQ nightclub shooting: Questions linger over how suspect got guns despite past arrest
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A 22-year-old man is charged at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs that killed at least five people and injured dozens more.

Records show the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, had a previous run-in with the law. In June 2021, he was arrested after his mother told police her son was threatening to harm her with a pipe bomb, several weapons and ammunition.

Police at the scene of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs. (@TreyRuffy/Twitter)
(@TreyRuffy/Twitter)

MPs responded at home and a brief stalemate ensued. Aldrich eventually turned himself in and was arrested, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.

No explosives were found in the house. Aldrich was charged with two counts of threatening felony and three counts of first-degree kidnapping.

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Authorities say at least two guns – including a ‘long rifle’ – were used in Saturday’s fatal shooting at Club Q, raising questions about how Aldrich could have obtained guns and was free, despite his criminal past.

Fox News Digital has contacted several law enforcement agencies who have been tight-lipped about the investigation.

1669003077 641 Colorado Lgbtq Nightclub Shooting Questions Linger Over How Suspect Got

Flowers and a sign reading ‘love over hate’ lay near a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, where a shooting occurred late Saturday night.
(AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

Howard Black, a spokesman for the Colorado 4th Judicial District attorney’s office, said the investigation was “early stage” and information would be released as it becomes available.

The El Pasto County Sheriff’s Office told Fox News Digital that Aldrich’s photo will not be released because “investigative testimony statements that include a list of photos may be required.”

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The Colorado Springs Police Department, which is leading the investigation, will release Aldrich’s photo if the investigation permits, the sheriff’s office said.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, former Chicago Cook County Assistant District Attorney Dan Kirk weighed in on Saturday night’s shooting. He said it “shocks the conscience” that someone who exhibited violent tendencies would not have been fully prosecuted for those offenses and would still have access to deadly weapons and firearms.

A Police Officer Exits His Car Near A Crime Scene At A Gay Nightclub In Colorado Springs, Colorado On Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, Where A Shooting Occurred Late Saturday Night.

A police officer exits his car near a crime scene at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, where a shooting occurred late Saturday night.
(AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

“It’s the kind of red flag that should really prevent someone from having access to dangerous firearms,” ​​he said. “I think all states and the federal government need to look carefully at creating sensible red flag laws.”

Given that no explosives were found after Aldrich threatened to use a bomb, Kirk acknowledged there’s a “big difference” between making empty threats and performing the real thing.

“It’s a felony, but it’s a disorderly conduct felony,” Kirk said, sharing his years of experience as a top prosecutor in Illinois. “It’s not a high class crime. So depending on the background of the person, if they didn’t have a significant history, you might not expect them to get more than a slap on the wrist for the first time. infraction.”

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Aldrich has now been arrested for the shooting at Club Q. Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said at least two “heroic” patrons managed to subdue Aldrich just before police arrived. He has since been transferred to a local hospital for treatment.

9News Kelly Reinke from Denver reported later Sunday that the suspect’s mother, according to Chief Adrian Vasquez, has stopped cooperating with law enforcement.

Vasquez told him the suspect was “injured” when two nightclub patrons shot him. According to the mayor, one of the patrons beat the suspect with one of his own weapons.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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