The shooter appeared in court via video Wednesday and was ordered held without bail.
The suspect in a mass shooting that killed five people and injured 17 at an LGBTQ nightclub in the United States appeared in court Wednesday with facial injuries, mumbling and slumped sideways in a wheelchair.
The first hearing, which was conducted via a video link from the jail, was the first public appearance at Anderson Lee Aldrich since he was shot and beaten by suspected club fighters Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Defense attorneys and the Colorado State Public Defender said in court on Tuesday that Aldrich identifies as non-binary.
Aldrich, 22, was hospitalized from Sunday morning until Tuesday, before being transferred to the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The defendant was handcuffed and in a prison uniform during the hearing.
El Paso County Judge Charlotte Ankeny ordered Aldrich held without bail.
Although officials did not elaborate on the injuries, the victim is believed to have been beaten and beaten with a gun by Richard Fierro, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, in an attempt to stop the bloodshed at Club Q in Colorado’s second largest city. At least two other people were involved in beating and subduing the suspect.
When Judge Ankeny asked the juror for a name, Aldrich, after a pause, gave a stiff response. Aldrich also answered two consecutive questions with “yes” and “no”.
Defense attorneys declined to comment after the hearing.
Police initially arrested Aldrich on charges of five counts of first degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault that occurred Saturday night.
After the hearing, El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said he expects to file charges at the next court date, which is scheduled for December 6.
In the meantime, Allen said his office will continue to request that Aldrich be held without bail. He also said that Aldrich’s non-binary status would not affect how he would prosecute the case, including charging Aldrich with hate crimes.
This is a booking photo of the Club Q Shooting suspect. pic.twitter.com/uA7lvU6S27
— Colorado Springs Police Department (@CSPPIO) November 23, 2022
“I’m looking for evidence, evidence of what happened here. That’s what we look at when we make decisions,” Allen told reporters.
The prosecutor also said Aldrich appeared to be strong enough to participate in the crime, despite his injuries.
The five people who died were Kelly Loving, 40, Daniel Aston, 28, Derrick Rump, 38, Ashley Paugh, 34, and Raymond Green Vance, 22.