In 2021, judge warned of gay bar attacker’s shootout plans |

In 2021, judge warned of gay bar attacker’s shootout plans

Jesse Bedayn and Matthew Brown
The Associated Press
In this image taken from El Paso County District Court video, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, center, sits during a court appearance in Colorado Springs, Colo., Tuesday, Dec. Nov. 6, 2022. Aldrich, the suspect accused of entering a Colorado gay nightclub clad in body armor and opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle, killing five people and wounding 17 others, was charged by prosecutors Tuesday with 305 criminal counts including hate crimes and murder.
El Paso County District Court via AP

COLORADO SPRINGS — A judge who dismissed a 2021 kidnapping case against the Colorado gay nightclub shooter warned last year that the defendant had been stockpiling weapons and planning a shootout, and needed mental health treatment or “it’s going to be so bad.”

The comments made by Judge Robin Chittum in August last year are contained in court documents obtained by The Associated Press. They add to the warning signs authorities had about Anderson Aldrich’s increasingly violent behavior prior to the Nov. 19 shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

Five people were killed and 17 wounded.

The judge’s comments came during a preliminary hearing on charges that Aldrich kidnapped their grandparents, and had previously been under a court seal that was lifted last week.

The 2021 charges against Aldrich — who had stockpiled explosives and allegedly spoke of plans to become the “next mass killer” before engaging in an armed standoff with SWAT teams — were thrown out during a four-minute hearing this past July at which the prosecution didn’t even argue to keep the case active.

Support Local Journalism