Anderson Lee Aldrich, the 22-year-old suspect, who stands accused of killing five people and injuring seventeen others on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, news agencies reported.
Aldrich was subdued by two patrons - army veteran Richard Fierro and US Navy officer Thomas James - who saved the lives of other patrons who had come to Club Q.
In new court filing, public defenders for the suspect in the mass shooting at a Colorado gay club that left 5 people dead say that their client is non-binary and that "they use they/them pronouns." The lawyers refer to their client as Mx. Anderson Aldrich. pic.twitter.com/dPaUpiFXKN— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) November 23, 2022
Aldrich’s public defenders on Tuesday night said in a court filing that their client is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, the New York Times and Axios reported. He is being represented by Joseph Archambault, a chief trial deputy with the state public defender’s office.
Anderson Lee Aldrich faces hate crime and multiple murder charges. The Associated Press reported that Aldrich faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.
Aldrich is currently hospitalised with unspecified injuries but is expected to make his appearance in court on Wednesday via video.
Aldrich entered Club Q on Saturday night as patrons were celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance and started firing at the patrons indiscriminately.
Fierro and James stopped him with Fierro even seizing Aldrich’s handgun and hitting him on his head. The police reached the scene of the incident within three minutes of being dispatched and apprehended Aldrich two minutes later, Axios said in a report.
Suspect Evaded Colorado’s Red Flag Gun Law
Aldrich, according to a report by the Associated Press, evaded Colorado’s Red Flag gun law. A year and a half before Aldrich was arrested allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb.
Their neighbours were forced to evacuate while the bomb squad dissuaded him from attacking his mother with the bomb.
Despite this incident, there is no public record that menacing or felony kidnapping charges were filed against Aldrich. His relatives or the police also did not trigger Colorado’s “red flag" law which would allow the authorities to seize the weapons and ammo Aldrich’s mother said he had with him.
Though the red flag law would have seized his gun only for 14 days, experts feel it would have at the least raised his profile with law enforcement and slowed him down.
The Associated Press also reported that Aldrich changed more than six years ago when he was a teenager in Texas. He filed a legal petition in Texas seeking to “protect himself” from a father who had a criminal history which also included domestic violence against his mother.
He was known as Nicholas Franklin Brink until 2016. He changed his name weeks before turning 16, the Associated Press said citing court records.
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