• Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Colorado Club Q’s alleged shooter is ‘non-binary’, public defenders say

ByKarla E. Kowalski

Nov 24, 2022

Public defenders representing Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect accused of killing five and injuring 17 others in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub over the weekend, describe the 22-year-old as “non-binary” in court filings . ”

In several standard filings filed Tuesday on behalf of Aldrich, public defenders refer to the suspect as “Mx. Aldrich.” The motions address issues such as unsealing documents and gathering evidence, not Aldrich’s identity, and no further explanation was provided.

“Anderson Aldrich is non-binary,” the documents’ footnotes state. “They use she/them pronouns and are addressed as Mx for the purposes of all formal submissions. Aldrich.”

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but authorities said Aldrich faces possible murder and hate crime charges.

COLORADO SPRINGS ALLEGED SHOOTER WILL APPEAR VIRTUALLY IN COURT

Club Q is seen on Sunday November 20, hours after a gunman opened fire inside.
(KMGH via REUTERS)

Hate crime charges would have to prove that the shooter was motivated by prejudice, such as against the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The charges against Aldrich are preliminary and prosecutors have not yet filed any formal charges. Aldrich is being represented by Joseph Archambault, a Senior Counsel for the District Attorney.

Read the court filing:

It was also revealed Tuesday that Aldrich’s name was changed more than six years ago as a teenager after he filed a legal petition in Texas to “protect himself” from a father with a criminal history, including domestic violence against Aldrich’s mother.

Aldrich was known as Nicholas Franklin Brink until 2016. Weeks before he turned 16, Aldrich petitioned a Texas court for a name change, court filings show. A name change request was filed on Brink’s behalf by her grandparents, who were her legal guardians at the time.

A police officer walks outside Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Tuesday, November 22.

Aldrich’s request for a name change came months after Aldrich was reportedly the target of online bullying. A June 2015 website post attacking a teenager named Nick Brink suggests he may have been bullied in high school. The post included photos resembling those of the suspect who was shooting and mocked Brink for her weight, lack of funds and interest in Chinese cartoons.

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People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near Club Q nightclub on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The name change and bullying were first reported by the Washington Post.

Court documents detailing Aldrich’s arrest were sealed at the request of prosecutors. Aldrich was discharged from a hospital after the shooting and is being held at the El Paso County Jail, police said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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