News (USA)

Woman threatened businesses with violence in the wake of the Club Q shooting. She got arrested.

A woman screams into her phonePhoto: Shutterstock

A 40-year-old woman named Sharon Robinson has been arrested and charged in connection to threats made against Colorado LGBTQ+ businesses in the city of Denver and the county of Glendale.

Robinson allegedly made threatening calls in the weeks following the Club Q massacre which killed five people and injured at least 22 others.

In her calls, she used anti-LGBTQ+ slurs, threatened to “shoot your bar up,” and said, “You’re gonna be shot up like Club Q,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported.

A grand jury indicted Robinson, finding that she “intentionally selected her victims because of their actual and perceived sexual orientation,” the DOJ added. Such targeting could cause her to face hate crime charges which also carry higher sentences.

Robinson appeared in court on Wednesday and was released on a $50,000 bond, Chicago Public Radio News reported, and will be prosecuted in Colorado. She is barred from traveling outside of New York City and Long Island except to Colorado for court.

The Club Q shooting occurred in the early morning hours of November 20, 2022 in the city of Colorado Springs, home to Focus on the Family, one of the nation’s oldest anti-LGBTQ hate groups. Anti-LGBTQ+ right-wing media figures like Tucker Carlson, Matt Walsh, Steven Crowder, and others alternately denied responsibility for fomenting hatred against queer people and said that LGBTQ+ people caused the shooting by allegedly supporting non-existent “child genital mutilation.”

The suspected shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, faces more than 300 charges. Aldrich’s lawyers say that they identify as nonbinary and use they/them pronouns. They planned the attack in advance, prosecutors said, making a map of Club Q and visiting the club at least six times prior to the attack. The suspected shooter was taken down by a military veteran less than a minute after the shooting began. One patron stomped on the suspect with her high heel shoes while the veteran held him down.

Detective Rebecca Joines testified that Aldrich ran a neo-Nazi website featuring a white supremacist training video glorifying mass shootings, and posting an image of a Pride parade with a rifle scope on it. They also used anti-LGBTQ+ and racist slurs while gaming. 

After the shooting, President Joe Biden (D) sent a letter to the bar’s owners expressing his “deepest condolences” and stating the need for “a ban on assault weapons” and “other common-sense gun safety measures.” Six months later, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed four new gun control bills into law.

Club Q announced that it would reopen in fall 2023 with enhanced security measures. Survivors of the shooting say they feel hope for the community as it continues to heal from the violence.

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