COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The man who stands accused of carrying out a mass shooting that took the lives of five people at a popular gay club in Colorado is also apparently part of the LGBTQ community according to his lawyers.
Even though the man’s defense team has not given an official reason why they felt necessary to tell the world how the suspect views his gender, perhaps the reason is to avoid possible hate crime charges for the attack.
On November 22nd, attorneys for the 22-year-old man accused in the mass shooting filed numerous motions on the 22nd of November, seeking access to evidence and other documents to prepare a criminal defense for him.
In the footnotes of some of the filings defense attorneys claim that the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, viewed himself as nonbinary and preferred to be called Mx. Aldrich as well as they and them pronouns.
Aldrich, who stands accused of a horrific active shooting event in which five people lost their lives, was taken into custody on the 19th after patrons of the club were able to stop his alleged murderous acts and hold him until the police arrived.
Police have yet to announce any possible motive for the attack but did note that Aldrich is facing homicide and potential hate crime charges in the shooting spree.
#BREAKING Police released these booking photos of the suspected gunman in #ColoradoSprings mass shooting. Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of opening fire at an LGBTQ nightclub and killing 5 people before club patrons beat him into submission https://t.co/teBx01NL8h pic.twitter.com/gqpduaY4HS
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) November 23, 2022
Investigators are theorizing that the possible reason for the attack may have been a bias towards those in the LGBTQ community, something that Aldrich’s defense team may be trying to get in front of with the claim that he views himself as nonbinary.
Whether that is the reason for the nonbinary claim or he really feels that he does not have a gender will not matter in the end according to the co-chair of the National Trans Bar Association, Kristen Prata Browde, who said:
“The motive for a crime isn’t dependent on whether you are or are not a member of a protected class. It legally has no significance as far as whether the actions of this individual fit within the law regarding hate crimes.”
Police responded to Club Q just before midnight on the 19th for a report of shots being fired with some type of long gun. As police were responding to the scene, they learned the alleged suspect, Aldrich, entered the club wearing body armor.
As Aldrich was on his alleged shooting spree, a customer and Army veteran jumped into action by physically fighting and disarming him. When police arrived on the scene, the hero Army veteran already had Aldrich physically held on the ground, stopping his alleged rampage in which he killed five people and injured as many as 18 other people.
Here’s the fascist terrorist Anderson Lee Aldrich appearing in court with a heavily bruised face, unable to stand or hold his head up after Club Q patrons beat the everloving fuck out of him. pic.twitter.com/JgoOR30nt7
— Oliver 🐇🐈⬛ (@Ollie_XVX) November 23, 2022
Aldrich was taken to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for injuries that allegedly occurred while he was taken down by the heroes inside of the bar. He stayed in the hospital until his release on November 21st when he was transported to the local jail.
After police took Aldrich into custody, they charged him with five counts of homicide and “bias-motivated” crimes. Bias-motivated in Colorado is synonymous with the federal definition of hate crimes.
After his arrest, it was learned that Aldrich legally changed his name from Nicholas Franklin Brink in 2016. The reason, according to reports, he changed his name was in an apparent attempt to prevent communication with his father who has a criminal history, including domestic violence charges against his mother.
Aldrich faced a judge on November 23rd through a video feed in which he appeared to be slumped over in his chair. Injuries he sustained during the mass shooting appeared evidence upon his face.
Aldrich is no stranger to the law as he was arrested in 2021 for allegedly threatening his mother, Laura Voepel, with a homemade bomb as well as other weapons. The Associated Press obtained Ring doorbell video of Aldrich’s arrest.
— Shawn Schwaller (@madprofes) November 21, 2022
While Aldrich’s criminal case makes its way through the courts, it is important to know that families and friends of those lost during the mass shooting are grieving this senseless act of violence. Family and friends mourn the losses of Raymond Green Vance, Ashley Paugh, Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, and Derrick Rump.
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