Colorado shooter charged with hate crimes

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The memorial at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Photo from GLAAD

The man suspected of killing five people and injuring others at Club Q in Colorado Springs is facing murder and hate crime charges, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Anderson Lee Aldrich faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

The AP couldn’t find information on a lawyer who would be representing Aldrich.

News website Heavy reported Sunday that Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing California State Assemblymember Randy Voepel (R). Voepel represents the 71st district in the San Diego area. There were calls to expel Voepel from the state Assembly after he made comments comparing the January 6 attacks to the Revolutionary War, the website reported.

Thee of the victims have been identified publicly. Daniel Aston was a bartender at the club and a transgender man who had been set to perform on Saturday night. Colorado Public Radio interviewed his parents on Sunday. They said they are speaking out about his loss to bring more “exposure and acceptance” about the transgender community.

“We need to get our legislators and our people high up to have a voice for us,” Sabrina Aston said. “Those are our children, we do not care how you dress or what you identify as. It doesn’t harm anybody.”

The other identified victim is Derrick Rump. The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported that he was a co-owner of Club Q.

Them reported that Kelly Loving, a trans woman, is another victim from the shooting. Her sister was notified by the FBI.

The impact was still reverberating across the national LGBTQ community on Monday.

The Uniting Pride Center of Champaign county mourned the victims and announced that their offices would be open until 4:40 on Monday for people to come in. They also listed affirming counseling resources for people in need:

  • blueprint (Champaign County) – (217) 607-1678
  • Elliott Counseling Group (Champaign County) – (217) 398-9066
  • The Trevor Project – text, chat and phone – https://www.thetrevorproject.org/. 24 hours a day.
  • LGBT National Hotline – (888) 843-4564, 5 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday
  • Crisis Text Line – text HOME to 741741. 24 hours a day.
  • Trans Lifeline – (877) 565-8860. 24 hours a day.
  • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline – 988. 24 hours a day.

We will update this list as we find more resources

TPAN in Chicago, Open Table UCC in Ottawa and The Project of the Quad Cities all expressed sorrow for the victims.

“This unspeakable attack has robbed countless people of their friends and family and an entire community’s sense of safety,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis. You can draw a straight line from the false and vile rhetoric about LGBTQ people spread by extremists and amplified across social media, to the nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year, to the dozens of attacks on our community like this one.”

Club Q released a statement about the shooting to GLAAD on Sunday night.

“Club Q is in shock, and in deep mourning, with the family and friends who had loved ones senselessly taken from them. We condemn the horrific violence that shattered an evening of celebration for all in the LGBTQ community of Colorado Springs and our allies. Club Q offers our greatest gratitude to those who moved immediately to stop the gunman and prevent more loss of life and injury. Club Q has always provided a space for LGBTQ people and our ally friends to celebrate together. 

“We will always speak up for and support everyone’s right to be themselves and be safe. We demand that those who spread disgusting rhetoric and encourage violence stop this behavior immediately before more people get hurt. We urge with everything in our heart for every person to do what they can to speak up for LGBTQ people and everyone’s right to be safe.”

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