The Person Behind the Club Q Shoooting

A history of suspicious behavior.

Daniel Lee

More stories from Daniel Lee


The shooting at a nightclub in Colorado Springs brings attention to the mind of the person responsible, and his hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community. 

On Nov. 20, suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich entered an LGBTQ+ nightclub, Club Q and allegedly fired upon clubgoers, killing five and injuring at least 19 others. The shooting continued until patrons of the club subdued the gunman, allowing police to arrest Aldrich.

Aldrich had a history of suspicious behavior, as he had previously been arrested for a bomb threat in 2021. The threat was made after Aldrich’s grandparents told him that their house had been sold and that the pair were moving to Florida. Aldrich had been making a bomb within the basement of the home and did not want the move to “interfere with his bomb-making,” according to unsealed documents.

Aldrich had told the grandparents about plans to conduct a mass shooting and a bombing, and proceeded to hold them hostage until they were able to escape. The incident led to a police report and a standoff between Aldrich and a SWAT team at his mother’s home, which he had fled to and threatened to use explosives in.

Eventually, Aldrich surrendered to the police but was not brought to court and had charges dropped over the incident, as his family refused to cooperate with prosecution. According to law enforcement, the arrest would not have shown up in background checks when he had purchased the weapons used in the shooting, since records were sealed and the case had never been adjudicated.

Aldrich has been charged with 305 counts, including first-degree murder and hate crimes. According to Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen, this case will be prosecuted to the “fullest extent of the law.” 

In a statement by Allen, he claimed that the Fourth Judicial District would not “tolerate actions against community members based on their sexual identity.” One of Club Q’s owners Matthew Haynes praised the announcement of the charges and urged others to speak up for LGBTQ+ people and to end “disgusting rhetoric” and violence against the community.

Aldrich is due for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, after which he is expected to be arraigned. This act of violence marks a tragedy as families and victims continue to heal.