The shooter who is suspected of gunning down five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub Saturday identifies as “non-binary” and uses “they/them” pronouns, attorneys said Tuesday according to a court filing obtained by The New York Times.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces several informal charges of murder and hate crimes after he allegedly stormed a nightclub, spraying bullets into the crowd before two club patrons confronted him and wrenched the firearm away, the NYT reported. The revelation that the suspect identifies as “non-binary,” one of several categories contained under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, comes amid popular narratives that animosity toward individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ motivated Aldrich’s attack.
“Anderson Aldrich is nonbinary,” a footnote to the court filing states. “They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Air Force Cadets From ‘Homophobic/Transphobic Families Or Areas’ Told To Be ‘Supportive’ After Shooting)
Officials have not disclosed the evidence pointing to hate crime motivation, the Denver Post reported.
Aldrich is scheduled to make a court appearance later on Wednesday after authorities transferred him to the El Paso County Jail from a hospital in Colorado Springs, according to the Denver Post.
This Club Q shooting should be a reminder that members of the LGBTQ+ community continue to be targeted by hate, by judgment and by violence. 32 transgender people have been killed so far this year. It is an everyday fear people are living with…in 2022
— Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) November 22, 2022
Aldrich’s apparent attack left at least 5 dead and more than 20 people wounded.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said the attack exposes the consequences of “dangerous, hateful rhetoric” in a statement.
“There’s no denying the stain,” he added.
Nov. 20, the day of the attack, is recognized as Trans Day of Remembrance. At least one of the victims in the attack called themselves transgender, according to the NYT.
“It’s been a year of dehumanizing, demonizing rhetoric that seeks to label LGBTQ people as pedophiles and child groomers,” Harvard clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo said in a statement. “The people who incited [the attack] will continue on profiting from this hate.”
District Attorney Michael J. Allen said formal charges would be levied after Aldrich’s initial court appearance, the NYT reported.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the shooting “has all the appearances of being a hate crime,” but police and investigators have not publicly issued a motive, according to the NYT.
Aldrich reportedly has a history of criminal offenses; a man with his same name and birth date was arrested in 2021 for kidnapping, according to a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
However, Allen did not pursue charges against Aldrich at the time, and Allen’s office told the Daily Caller News Foundation “a public criminal record does not exist” for Aldrich.
The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, which is representing Aldrich, could not be reached for comment.
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