Strong teamwork from the Denver bureau and law enforcement and breaking news investigative teams helped keep authorities accountable in the Club Q shooting case, where five people were killed and 17 injured.

It started just days after last month’s shooting in Colorado when a local television station said it obtained documents related to the alleged shooter. Because the station refused to say where they came from, they gained little traction.

But after Mustian and Slevin knocked on doors for two days, they found an unimpeachable source who verified the documents showing the suspect had threatened his grandparents in 2021 with a gun, held police at bay in a livestreamed standoff and boasted of plans to be “the next mass killer.”

AP also confirmed for the first time that the FBI received a tip about Aldrich before Aldrich’s arrest for threatening to kill family members, showing how early law enforcement knew of the potential danger. A judge cited AP’s coverage while deciding to unseal the file on the arrest. Among the documents within that file was a letter from a suspect's relative, who urged a judge to keep Aldrich behind bars. Melley scored an exclusive interview with her.

Helping to put everything into context was an explainer by McMillan showing what it means for someone to be nonbinary, along with the worries of advocates that Aldrich’s high profile could hurt nonbinary people broadly.