A mass shooter who murdered five people at an LGBTQ club in Colorado has been given 55 life sentences after pleading guilty to hate crimes.

Anderson Lee Aldrich was already serving five life sentences for the shooting rampage at Club Q in Colorado Springs, which injured 22 people.

PHOTO | COURTESY The shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich

After hearing how Aldrich purposefully targeted members of the LGBTQ community with a $9,000 arsenal collected over two years, a US district court increased the sentence by 55 life terms and an additional 190 years.

"You went to this community's safe place and mass-murdered people, but I hope what you learned today is this community is much stronger than you," judge Charlotte Sweeney said, noting it was appropriate to sentence Aldrich during Pride Month.

"This community is stronger than your armor, stronger than your weapons, and it's sure as heck stronger than your hatred."

PHOTO | COURTESY The crime scene

Federal hate crime charges entail heavy punishments in the United States, and those convicted risk the death sentence. Still, prosecutors decided to drop that option in exchange for Aldrich's 74 guilty pleas.

On November 19, 2022, Aldrich stormed into Club Q and shot five people dead using an AR-15 assault weapon.

Two clubgoers ultimately dragged the heavyset and bearded gunman to the ground, holding Aldrich until police came.

Federal prosecutors stated in court records that Aldrich vented online before committing the crime.

PHOTO | COURTESY The shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich

"The defendant used an online platform... to disseminate a manifesto purportedly authored by someone who committed a mass shooting earlier that year," documents said.

"This link revealed predominantly racist and anti-Semitic beliefs but also the following statement, 'Transgenderism, however, is a mental illness and should be addressed as such.'"