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Battered LGBTQ nightclub shooting suspect makes first court appearance

Colorado Springs Shooting
Posted at 12:26 PM, Nov 23, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (KOAA) — The suspect in the deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, made a virtual court appearance Wednesday morning.

Andreson Lee Aldrich, who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, appeared in a wheelchair for an advisement hearing. Aldrich only spoke when directly questioned by the judge on whether they had watched a video on their advisement before the hearing.

The suspect's public defenders waived having charges read aloud. They will be held without bond with a next appearance on December 6, 2022. That date could change due to a scheduling conflict with a public defender.

Anderson Aldrich hearing
Anderson Aldrich (seated) only spoke to confirm they are aware of their constitutional rights during an advisement hearing in El Paso County.

Normally, a bond would be set. However, District Attorney Michael Allen had already stated the suspect is being held without bond. Allen said his office will continue to work to keep the suspect jailed without bond.

The alleged gunman was moved from a hospital to the El Paso County Jail Tuesday afternoon.

The suspect was arrested on 10 counts, including first-degree murder and bias-motivated crime, according to court records.

First-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted in Colorado.

State law on bias-motivated crimes refers to "unlawful acts against persons or groups because of a person’s or group’s race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation for the purpose of inciting and provoking bodily injury or damage to property."

The local and federal investigation into the mass shooting is ongoing, and additional charges could be filed.

Five people were killed and 17 others were wounded in the attack at Club Q late Saturday night. Two patrons are credited with stopping the gunman, potentially saving countless lives.

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