Anderson Lee Aldrich, the 23-year-old who was responsible for the Club Q mass shooting, plead guilty and was sentenced to 5 consecutive life sentences for the murder of 5 Club Q patrons, Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Derrick Rump. In addition, Judge Michael McHenry sentenced Aldrich to 2,208 years in prison for 46 attempted murder charges and a four-year sentence for bias-motivated charges. Judge McHenry did not grant the possibility for parole.
“That is the longest sentence ever achieved in the Fourth Judicial District and the second, to my knowledge, longest sentence ever achieved in the state of Colorado, second only to the sentence achieved in the Aurora theater shooting case,” Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said in a news conference after the sentencing.
Victims and family members became emotional in the crowd as Judge McHenry read the names of those who passed away and explained Aldrich’s charges.
“You are targeting a group of people for their simple existence,” said McHenry. “Like too many other people in our culture, you chose to find a power that day behind the trigger of a gun, your actions reflect the deepest malice of the human heart and malice is almost always born of ignorance and fear.”
Aldrich, who is nonbinary, did not reveal their motivation for attacking Club Q, a popular LGBTQ+ bar, and they did not address the court personally. During the sentencing, defense attorney Joseph Archambault said “they want everyone to know they’re sorry.”
District attorney Michael Allen, said any apology from Aldrich is redundant. “The ‘why’ matters. These victims were targeted for who they were and are,” he said in court. “Hatred coupled with criminal action will not be tolerated.”
Ron Bell, the grandfather of Raymond Green Vance, who was killed in the attack, said he “wanted to deliver a message of hope.”
“Hope that those who have younger people in a position of trust, maybe we find ways to teach them appreciation, to teach them tolerance, teach them to be welcoming to those around them, teach them to live, and let others live,” Bell said. “More of that might have had an effect on this.”