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Colorado Springs shooting suspect was known to authorities from his previous arrest

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The man arrested in Saturday’s mass shooting at a Colorado Springs nightclub is a 22-year-old townsman who was charged by law enforcement officials last year for a hijacking. the bomb in a neighborhood about 15 miles from the site of the murderous rampage.

Anderson Lee Aldrich has been identified by Colorado Springs police as the suspected shooter who walked into the Club Q bar shortly before midnight and opened fire with a long gun and possibly a second gun, killing at least five victims before being attacked by people inside the bar. He was arrested by the police a few minutes later.

Police, assisted by FBI agents, are investigating whether the shooting was a hate crime. Club Q is popular with the area’s LGBTQ community.

Aldrich’s previous encounter with law enforcement was on June 18, when he was arrested following a disturbance in the community of Lorson Ranch, a suburb of modest single-family homes on the southern outskirts. -east of Colorado Springs.

A woman called the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office to say her son was threatening to harm her with a pipe bomb and other weapons, according to a report from the sheriff’s office at the time. Sheriff’s deputies ordered an evacuation of the neighborhood and confronted Aldrich, then 21, at another home a mile away.

Aldrich initially refused to back down, but after a nearly hour-long standoff surrendered without incident. No bomb was found, but Aldrich was charged with several misdemeanors, including felony threat and kidnapping. The final decision of the case was not immediately clear.

It was also unclear whether any motions had been filed against Aldrich preventing him from owning a firearm. Colorado’s 2019 “red flag” law gives local judges the power to order the confiscation of firearms from people with a history of mental illness or violence.

As of September 28, there have been 348 “red flag” cases in Colorado, the majority filed by police departments, since the law took effect in 2020. The Colorado Springs Police Department has filed two petitions during this period.

In this community saturated with weapons, More than 7,000 guns have been stolen since 2017 in Colorado Springs alone, according to police department data, more than 20 times the national rate of gun thefts, according to Department of Justice statistics. Justice. One of these stolen weapons was used to shoot a Colorado Springs officer in the head in 2018. He survived.

This is a developing story.

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