Preliminary Hearings Begin in Colorado Springs Mass Shooting Trial

On Wednesday, preliminary hearings began in the trial of Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect accused of opening fire in a Colorado LGBTQ bar in November 2022.[0] Officer Connor Wallick of the Colorado Springs Police was one of the initial responders to the scene at the club that evening.[1] He testified that he could hear people screaming and crying, and smell a lot of gunpowder.[2]

Prosecutors presented evidence that showed photos of Aldrich wearing a tan ballistic vest with a pistol strapped to its front, entering the club.[3] They were holding an AR-style rifle in their right hand.[4] In another image, Aldrich is seen aiming a rifle at the area where the dancers were, and a muzzle flash is visible.[5] A photo was presented by the defense that seemed to depict Aldrich consuming an alcoholic beverage at the club's bar on October 29th.[1]

Thomas James, a patron of the club, testified that he first tried to grab a metal bucket to help subdue Aldrich.[1] He eventually made his way to the shooter and laid his hand upon the barrel of the AR-15-style weapon, resulting in blisters due to the heat.[1]

Detective Jason Gasper also testified about a police search of Aldrich's apartment.[6] He reported that they discovered shooting targets that had been shot, various components used for constructing firearms, and ammunition.[6] A bullseye with rainbow colors radiated from the center of one of the targets.[6]

Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, and Tara Bush were all killed in the mass shooting at a bar in Colorado Springs. The suspect in this crime is facing 323 criminal charges, which include first-degree murder, attempted murder, and bias-motivated crimes.[0]

Judge Michael McHenry of the 4th Judicial District Court will decide if there is enough evidence to sustain the allegations against Aldrich after the hearing wraps up on Friday. McHenry has refused to postpone the preliminary hearing despite requests from Aldrich's lawyers, claiming that they were unprepared because of the voluminous amount of evidence and scheduling difficulties.[4] At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, should McHenry decide to proceed with the 323 charges against Aldrich, the latter's lawyers will then be required to enter a plea during an arraignment at a later time.

0. “Was Club Q shooting suspect motivated by hate? Court begins to look at evidence” The Pulse of NH, 22 Feb. 2023,

1. “Club Q suspect claimed hero was the gunman responsible for deadly attack, according to testimony” KUSA, 22 Feb. 2023,

2. “Creepy New Claims Emerge at Alleged Club Q Shooter's Court Hearingy.” The Daily Beast, 22 Feb. 2023,

3. “Police: Club Q shooter tried to blame man who subdued him” Detroit News, 22 Feb. 2023,

4. “Police found rainbow-colored target, map of Club Q in suspect's apartment” The Colorado Sun, 22 Feb. 2023,

5. “LIVE COVERAGE: Anderson Aldrich preliminary hearing; first witness describes scene” The Denver Gazette, 22 Feb. 2023,

6. “Accused Club Q shooter appears in court for first day of preliminary hearings” Colorado Public Radio, 22 Feb. 2023,