Suspect set to plead guilty in attack that killed 5 at Colorado Springs sanctuary for LGBTQ+

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The suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub is expected to plead guilty in an attack that killed five people and wounded 17 last year at the longtime sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community in the mostly conservative city

FILE - Noah Reich, left, and David Maldonado, the Los Angeles co-founders of Classroom of Compassion, set up a memorial near Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Nov. 22, 2022, with photographs of the five victims of a mass shooting at the gay nightclub. COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.

Aldrich, who is nonbinary and uses they and them pronouns, had been arrested over a year before the attack for threatening their grandparents andMonday's hearing follows a series of jailhouse phone calls from Aldrich to The Associated Press expressing remorse and the intention to face the consequences at this court hearing. Several survivors told the AP about a planned plea agreement after being approached about Aldrich's comments.

Aldrich hinted at plans to carry out violent attacks at least a year before the Club Q assault. In June 2021, Aldrich's grandparents told authorities that they were warned not to stand in the way of a plan to stockpile guns, ammo, body armor and a homemade bomb to become “the next mass killer.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said it would not have been able to seek a court order stopping Aldrich from buying or possessing guns because the 2021 arrest record was sealed after the charges were dropped. There was no new evidence that they could use to prove that Aldrich posed a threat “in the near future,” the sheriff’s office said.

 

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