Colorado Springs LGBTQ club shooting suspect appears in court for first time

The suspect in the deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colo., appeared in court virtually on Wednesday.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces multiple murder and hate crime charges following Saturday’s shooting that killed five people and injured more than a dozen others at Club Q, which has been described as a haven for LGBTQ people. people in the community.

In a video feed from the El Paso County Jail, Aldrich appeared in an orange jumpsuit, slumped in a wheelchair with visible facial bruises.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, appears for the first time in a video link from prison on Wednesday.  (El Paso County Court/Handout via Reuters)

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, appears for the first time in a video link from prison on Wednesday. (El Paso County Court/Handout via Reuters)

Aldrich, who was not formally charged on Wednesday, was ordered to be held. The next hearing in the case was tentatively scheduled for December 6.

According to police, Aldrich used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon in the attack. A handgun and additional ammunition magazines were also recovered at the scene.

Authorities say two patrons — Richard Fierro, a U.S. Army veteran, and Thomas James — helped subdue Aldrich before the officers arrived.

At a press conference Monday, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adam Vasquez also identified each of the five people killed by the pronouns they used to identify themselves: Kelly Loving (she/her); Daniel Aston (he/him); Derrick Rump (he/him); Ashley Paugh (she/her); and Raymond Green Vance (he/him).

A sign has been posted at a makeshift memorial to the victims of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A sign has been posted at a makeshift memorial to the victims of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A motive for the rampage is still under investigation.

“It has all the hallmarks of a hate crime,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said on NBC’s “Today” show Monday. “But we have to look at social media. We have to look at all sorts of other information that we’re gathering from people who knew the person before we draw any definitive conclusions about a motivation.”

According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, a person with the same name as Aldrich was arrested in 2021 after a mother reported that her son had threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons. No explosives were found, prosecutors did not pursue charges and the case was sealed, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

Police tape surrounds the scene of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday.  (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Police tape surrounds the scene of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., Monday. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

In a Tuesday night court file obtained by the New York TimesAldrich’s public defenders said their client is non-binary and uses their pronouns.

Outside the courthouse, El Paso Country District Attorney Michael J. Allen was asked if the non-binary clue would affect his ability to prosecute the case.

“For my purposes, in every murder case that I’ve prosecuted that I’d like to talk about more, I refer to each of them as defendants, and that’s what I’ll do in this case,” Allen said. “It will not affect how I pursue this case in the state of Colorado.”

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