The 22-year-old suspect accused of killing five and wounding dozens of others after opening fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado last month was formally charged on Tuesday with 305 counts, including charges of assault, hate crimes, and murder.
The alleged gunman, who will not be named per Daily Wire policy about not giving notoriety to mass killers, opened fire inside Club Q in Colorado Springs on November 19.
Police said the gunman entered the venue with a long rifle and immediately began shooting. At least two patrons inside the club confronted and stopped the shooter, authorities said.
According to The Daily Mail, authorities charged the suspect with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and bias-motivated crimes causing bodily injury.
If convicted of first-degree murder, authorities said the alleged shooter faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. Despite Colorado abolishing the death penalty in 2020, the shooter could still face it if federal prosecutors charge the suspect with crimes under the U.S. code, which still has capital punishment for certain crimes, per The Daily Mail.
The suspect identifies as non-binary and uses They/Them pronouns, while public defenders referred to their client as Mx, according to court documents.
The Daily Mail reported that District Attorney Michael Allen said after the non-binary suspect made an initial court appearance on November 23, gender identity would not affect the prosecution.
The deceased victims of last month’s mass shooting in Colorado were identified as Kelly Loving, 40; Daniel Aston, 28; Derrick Rump, 38; Ashley Paugh, 34; and Raymond Green Vance, 22.
The suspected shooter was previously arrested in 2021 and booked in the El Paso County Jail on two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping.
The charges stemmed from an alleged bomb threat made by the suspect after his mother said he was “threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition,” the sheriff’s office said, leading to the evacuation of approximately ten homes.
However, no formal charges were ever filed, and the case was later sealed, according to local media.