(DENVER) — Mark Michalek, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Denver Field Office, confirmed that the agency has opened a federal investigation into the Club Q shooting in November 2022.
In a press conference following the sentencing of Anderson Lee Aldrich, the shooter in the Colorado Springs mass shooting that left five dead, Michalek said on Monday the FBI is working in coordination with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in an ongoing investigation into Aldrich and the tragedy.
Aldrich took a plea deal, pleading guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree and 46 counts of attempted murder in the first degree on Monday. They pleaded no contest to two bias-motivated crimes.
Aldrich will receive five consecutive life sentences without the possibility for parole on the murder charges. Aldrich will also receive 46 consecutive 48-year sentences for the attempted murder counts followed by mandatory periods of parole.
As the country awaits the outcome of a federal investigation, District Attorney Michael Allen suggests that the potential for the death sentence at the federal level may have influenced Aldrich’s decision to take the plea deal.
“The death penalty in the federal system, I think, is a big reason why this defendant decided to take a guilty plea with the sentence that we achieved in this case.” Allen said. “Part of that is that in the federal system, if you show substantial mitigation — so if you take full responsibility at the state level — that can sometimes avoid a federal death sentence pursuit. Whether that happens or not, again, is up to the federal US Attorney’s Office.”
Officials said Aldrich opened fire as soon as they walked into Club Q just minutes before midnight on Nov. 19, 2022. Patrons at the venue tackled Aldrich, subduing them until police arrived, according to witnesses.
Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance died in the attack. At least 19 people were also injured in the shooting.
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