By Alaa Elassar | CNN
The suspected gunman accused of killing five people in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, last November is facing an additional 12 counts, raising the total to 317.
Anderson Lee Aldrich appeared in court in person Friday, where Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen announced the new felony charges, including four attempted murder charges and two hate crimes.
Aldrich, 22, was initially charged in December with 305 counts, including charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, assault and bias-motivated crimes causing bodily injury.
The new charges were added for two additional victims present at the nightclub during the shooting at Club Q, Allen told District Judge Michael McHenry.
Aldrich — whose attorneys say identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns — faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted on the first-degree murder charges.
The suspect allegedly entered Club Q late November 19 with an AR-style weapon and a handgun and opened fire, killing Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Derrick Rump. At least 19 others were injured, police have said, most of whom suffered gunshot wounds.
The attack was halted by two patrons who took down and contained the suspect until police arrived at the club, which was seen as a safe space for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs.
Ahead of an earlier hearing, Aldrich’s attorneys said the suspect identified as nonbinary and would be addressed as Mx. Aldrich — a distinction Allen said would have “no impact” on his office’s prosecution of the case.
A neighbor of the accused shooter who said he sometimes played video games with Aldrich told CNN the suspect never mentioned they were nonbinary.
Aldrich’s next court appearance is a preliminary hearing on February 22.