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The alleged shooter facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub was ordered held without bail in an initial court appearance Wednesday as the suspect sat slumped over in a chair. Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, could be seen with injuries visible on their face and head in a brief video appearance from jail. Aldrich appeared to need prompting by defense attorneys and offered a slurred response when asked to state their name by El Paso County Court Judge Charlotte Ankeny, the AP reports. The suspect was beaten into submission by patrons during Saturday night’s shooting at Club Q and released from the hospital Tuesday.

The motive in the shooting is still under investigation, but authorities said Aldrich faces possible murder and hate crime charges. Hate crime charges would require proving that the shooter was motivated by bias, such as against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The charges against Aldrich are preliminary, and prosecutors have not yet filed formal charges. Defense attorneys said late Tuesday that the suspect is nonbinary and in court filings referred to the suspect as “Mx. Aldrich.” Prosecutor Michael Allen repeatedly referred to the suspect as “he” during a press briefing after the hearing and said the suspect’s gender status would not change anything about the case in his opinion. Allen said Aldrich was “physically competent” to stand charges. Ankeny set the next hearing for Dec. 6.


The suspect’s father, Aaron Brink, is a mixed martial arts fighter and pornography performer with an extensive criminal history, including convictions for battery against the alleged shooter’s mother, Laura Voepel, both before and after the suspect was born, state and federal court records show. A 2002 misdemeanor battery conviction in California resulted in a protective order that initially barred Aaron Brink from contacting the suspect or Voepel except through an attorney, but was later modified to allow monitored visits with the child. Aaron Brink told KFMB-TV, that he was shocked to learn about Aldrich’s alleged involvement. He said his first reaction was to question why Aldrich was at a gay bar. Brink said he hadn’t had much contact with his child but had taught them to fight, “praising” Aldrich for violent behavior at an early age. He added that he’s sorry he let Aldrich down. (Read more Club Q shooting stories.)

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Club Q Shooting Suspect Makes Court Appearance – Vigour Times

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