Colorado Night Club Shooting

Club Q’s Reputation as a LGBTQ Safe Haven Ruined



Floral tributes are placed in memory of the victims after a mass shooting at the Club Q gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., November 20, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

Ava Kahn

On November 19, 2022, a twenty-two-year-old man, Anderson Lee Aldrich, opened fire in an LGBTQ club in Colorado. Aldrich killed five people and injured at least 19 others. A retired army major was at the club with his wife, daughter and friends when Aldrich opened fire. Fierro said his military instincts kicked in, so he got up and charged at the shooter, knocking him over. He had the help of another military man, Thomas James. He told CNN in an interview that he was just trying to protect his family. However, he was unable to protect his daughter’s boyfriend as he was one of the five killed in the shooting. The police arrived at the scene six minutes after the first call. Aldrich is now facing five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. The shooting impacted the lives of many people and destroyed the reputation of Club Q as a safe haven for LGBTQ people. 

This was Aldrich’s second arrest after a previous one involving a bomb threat at his mother’s house. According to the police report, Aldrich was threatening his mom with a homemade bomb, and other weapons. Aldrich was arrested but no formal charges were pursued and the case was dropped. Also, Aldrich is the creator of a free-speech site where people post racist and antisemitic memes. There is a video on the homepage of this site advocating for killing civilians as an effort to assassinate the elites and cleanse society.

Aldrich has caused a lot of controversy after stating in court filings that they are non-binary and use they/them pronouns. Xavier Kraus, the next door neighbor and friend of Aldrich says that he has never heard Aldrich mention being nonbinary. Kraus also stated that he had a falling out with Aldrich due to their racist and homophobic comments. Many speculate that Aldrich’s attorneys are using this as a way of ridding Aldrich of hate crime charges.