The Colorado Springs shooting suspect accused of killing five and wounding 17 has been ordered to be held in jail without bail.
Appearing slumped over and bewildered while in the El Paso County Jail sitting in between two lawyers on Wednesday, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, barely spoke when addressing the court.
Aldrich had been hospitalized until Tuesday after the shooter was taken down and subdued by a US Army veteran and a patron of the Club Q gay nightclub who rushed the suspect after the gunshots were fired.
The suspect could be seen sporting a black eye and other injuries to the face from the confrontation and appeared heavily dazed.
Aldrich, who identifies as non-binary, was shaken by their lawyers to stay attentive in the courtroom and answer the judge.
Many have questioned Aldrich’s non-binary identity, suggesting it might be a ploy to evade hate crime charges. Regardless, the suspect will likely face a slew of murder and weapons charges for the brutal attack.
On Wednesday court meeting, Judge Charlotte Ankeny asked: ‘Could the defendant please state his name?”
Anderson Aldrich,’ they replied weakly, followed by another weak ‘Yes,’ when asked if they understood their rights in court.
They remained relatively motionless throughout the quick, five-minute court hearing.
Pictured: Anderson Lee Aldrich’s face after they was beaten and subdued when they opened fire inside the Club Q gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five and injuring 15
Aldrich, 22, has been ordered to be held in jail without bail in a hearing on Wednesday
Aldrich also appeared battered and bruised at court, a day after they were released from the hospital following his injuries
Court sketches also captured the suspects disposition as he appeared half a sleep
Colorado gay club shooting suspect Anderson Aldrich has gone through a name change and identifies as non-binary, using they/them pronouns
Richard Fierro, a US Army vet, heroically jumped in to stop Aldrich from taking anymore lives inside Club Q. The man was able to take down the shooter and pistol whipped him
Aldrich’s next court date was set for December 6, pending the schedule of their lawyers and the judge.
The suspect is expected to face murder and hate-crime charges, however, the charges have yet to be filed.
The arrest record is currently sealed, but defense attorneys have filed for the record to be released.
Just before midnight on November 19, Aldrich is thought to have opened fire in Club Q in Colorado Springs. They were eventually subdued by US Army veteran Richard M. Fierro as well as patron Thomas Jane and a drag performer.
The club’s owners say Aldrich arrived with ‘tremendous firepower’ – an AR-15 rifle, six magazines of ammo and a handgun. Patrons used the handgun Aldrich was carrying to beat them to the ground until police arrived.
The slain victims include Raymond Green Vance, 22, Daniel Aston, 28, Ashley Paugh, 35, Derrick Rump, 38, and Kelly Loving, 40.
Neighbor Xavier Kraus, 23, told the Daily Beast that Aldrich would regularly attend a gun range where ‘rapid fire’ was allowed. The suspect went to the shooting range with their mother, Laura Voepel, the neighbor added.
Kraus also said that in times of anger, Aldrich would use gay slurs and regularly used the word ‘f****t’.
In a separate interview with CBS News, Kraus said that Aldrich admitted to using heroin and said that they were addicted to opium.
During that interview, Kraus discussed the suspect’s use of gay slurs saying: ‘It didn’t come across as true hate like, ‘I’m gonna go kill these people.”
Pictured: Investigators at the scene of the Club Q nightclub, which was hosting a drag show when they said Aldrich walked in and opened fire. The club’s owners say Aldrich arrived with ‘tremendous firepower’ – an AR-15 rifle, six magazines of ammo and a handgun
People hold a vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub on Sunday night after the horror shooting
The shooting is now being investigated as a hate crime, leaving members of local LGBTQ community devastated
Fierro was at the club with family when Aldrich showed up and killed his daughter’s boyfriend. The vet said his instincts kicked in to save his loved ones
A year and a half before the Colorado Springs shooting, Aldrich allegedly threatened their mother with a homemade bomb, forcing neighbors in surrounding homes to evacuate while the bomb squad and crisis negotiators talked them into surrendering.
The incident involved Aldrich fleeing to the home where their mother was renting a room. They had been living nearby with their grandma, Pam Pullen, and her husband Jonathan, but went on the run after threatening to kill them.
Their mother Laura is shown on Ring camera footage from that day welcoming her child into the house, helping them with their suitcase. Once inside, they filmed themselves in SWAT gear, broadcasting live on their mother’s Facebook account.
‘This is your boy, I’ve got the f*****g s**theads outside. F*****g s**theads got their f*****g rifles out. If they breach I’m [going to] blow it to holy hell. Come on in boys, let’s f*****g see it!’ they said in the video.
Yet despite that scare, there’s no public record that prosecutors moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Aldrich, or that police or relatives tried to trigger Colorado’s ‘red flag’ law that would have allowed authorities to seize the weapons and ammo Aldrich’s mother says they had with them.
Gun control advocates say Aldrich’s June 2021 threat is an example of a red flag law ignored, with potentially deadly consequences.
Aldrich’s mom helped them into the house and had called the landlord to ask her not to tell anyone where they were, she claimed on Monday
In a court filing, Aldrich’s public defenders said that their client is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, referring to the client as ‘Mx. Anderson Aldrich.’
The suspect’s original name is Nicholas Franklin Brink. They changed it to Anderson Lee Aldrich in 2016 in a petition signed by their mother, biological grandmother and step-grandfather.
According to the petition, which was signed when Aldrich still identified as male, the name change was meant ‘to protect himself and his future from any connections’ to their birth father, Aaron Brink, a porn star who goes by the name ‘Dick Delaware.’
Aaron Brink reportedly left Aldrich’s mother when Anderson was a baby, before taking up MMA and porn.
Colorado gay club shooting suspect Anderson Aldrich’s father Aaron Brink (pictured) has a sordid past, including mixed martial arts, drugs, reality TV and porn, which led the 22-year-old to change their name
According to a petition, the name change was meant ‘to protect himself and his future from any connections to’ his birth father Aaron Brink
Laura Voepel (4th from right), who is reportedly the mother of suspected Club Q shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich (3rd from right), is seen in a family photo from her Facebook page
He also appeared on camera on the reality shows Divorce Court and Intervention in 2009, when his fiancée tried to get him to stop using crystal meth, according to the New York Post.
Brink has 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 the father, Aaron F. Brink, from contacting the suspect or his mother except through an attorney, but was later modified to allow monitored visits with the child.
The father also was sentenced to two and a half years in custody for importation of marijuana and while on supervised release violated his conditions by testing positive for illegal steroids, according to public records.
Brink has a career record in MMA, across UFC and other fighting competitions, of 29 wins and 27 losses.
He was encouraged into doing porn by a producer at a party and began starring in films in 2002. He returned to the adult industry in 2019 after a lengthy hiatus.