The suspect in a mass shooting that killed five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ nightclub in 2022 has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder and other charges in the attack.
Anderson Lee Aldrich’s sentence on Monday comes just seven months after the shooting and spares victims’ families and survivors a long and potentially painful trial.
Aldrich pleaded guilty to five counts of murder and 46 counts of attempted murder. He also pleaded no contest to two counts of bias-motivated crimes – one a felony and the other a misdemeanour.
Aldrich will serve five consecutive life sentences, plus 48 years on each attempted murder charge, totalling an additional 2,208 years.
“I intentionally and after deliberation caused the death of each victim,” Aldrich told Judge Michael McHenry.
People in the courtroom wiped away tears as the judge explained the charges and read out the names of the victims.
Victims described the shooter a “monster” and “coward” who hunted down party-goers in a calculated attack on a sanctuary for the LGBTQ+ community.
The plea entered during a court hearing follows a series of jailhouse phone calls from Aldrich to The Associated Press expressing remorse and the intention to face the consequences for the shooting.