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Suspect in Colorado LGBTQ nightclub shooting moved from hospital to jail

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A sign with a rose is displayed on a cross near the Club Q LGBTQ nightclub following a mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

The suspect in the mass shooting that killed five people and wounded 17 at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub has been transferred to jail from the hospital where he was in police custody, police said on Tuesday.

“CSPD has turned over custody of the Club Q suspect to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the jail,” the Colorado Springs Police Department said on Twitter.

Police held Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, on initial charges including five counts of first-degree murder and bias crimes stemming from the Saturday night massacre. Prosecutors said that once he was out of the hospital, they expected to file formal criminal charges that may differ.

Though officials have not detailed his injures, the suspect was pummeled by Richard Fierro, a decorated former Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, in a successful effort to stop further bloodshed at Club Q in Colorado’s second-largest city.

Fierro, 44, said he tackled the gunman and took a pistol from him which he used to beat the man into submission, adding that he was aided by another man who removed the shooter’s rifle, which Fierro described as an AR, and kicked him.

Police identified the second man as Thomas James, who the U.S. Navy on Tuesday identified one of its sailors.

James, a Navy information systems technician second class, was injured in the Colorado Springs shooting and was hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday, the Navy said in a statement.

James is an 11-year-Navy veteran stationed in Colorado Springs, the Navy said, asking that his privacy be respected.

Like the police, the White House has not labeled the mass shooting as a hate crime, but noted the rampage took place in a polarized political climate in which LGBTQ rights are being jeopardized.

“This attack also comes amid a rise in violent rhetoric and threats against the LGBTQI-plus people across the country,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a press briefing. “While we don’t know yet, for certain the motive of this attack, hate has no place in this country, and neither do military style assault rifles, which is why we will continue to push for an assault weapons ban.”

Jean-Pierre also paid tribune to the five who died, offering brief profiles of each. read more

They are Kelly Loving, 40, Daniel Aston, 28, Derrick Rump, 38, Ashley Paugh, 34, and Raymond Green Vance, 22.

The press secretary also called Fierro and James “heroes,” expressing gratitude for their quick action.

Jean-Pierre said Biden spoke to Fierro and his wife, Jess Fierro, offering both thanks “for his bravery” and condolences for the death of Green, their daughter’s boyfriend. The Fierro family, James and other friends went to Club Q to celebrate a birthday.

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