On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the suspect in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado was already on the FBI's radar — even before the bomb threat arrest last year.
"Authorities said the person who would later kill five at a Colorado gay nightclub was on the FBI’s radar a day before being arrested for threatening to kill family members and blow up their home but agents closed out their case just weeks later," reported Colleen Slevin. "The disclosure by the FBI to The Associated Press creates a new timeline for when law enforcement was first alerted to Anderson Lee Aldrich as a potential danger."
"Previously it was thought Aldrich only became known to authorities after making the threat on June 18, 2021."
Aldrich, whose attorneys say identifies as nonbinary, has been hit with 305 criminal charges after the deadly rampage, including murder and 48 hate crime offenses — one for each person in the building when Aldrich began shooting at the LGBTQ-catering nightclub.
A previous report indicated that Aldrich could have been stopped under Colorado's "red flag" law, which allows guns to be temporarily removed from people when there is a credible threat of danger. It remains unclear why, although some have pointed to the decision by local officials in El Paso County to declare the area a so-called "Second Amendment sanctuary," where locals will not assist in enforcing state or federal gun regulations.
The case has also attracted attention due to the heroic actions of Richard Fierro, an Iraq War veteran who charged the shooter and forcibly disarmed the suspect. Fierro was initially arrested by police, who were unable to determine which person was the shooter.