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Mourners gather outside Club Q, a gay club in Colorado Springs on Nov. 21, 2022, to remember five people killed during during a shooting at the venue late Saturday night where at least 18 were wounded. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun via Report for America)

The accused shooter in the attack on Club Q arrived at the El Paso County jail Tuesday after being discharged from a local hospital.

No additional information was immediately available, including where in the jail Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is being held and whether special security arrangements are in place.

Accused shooter: Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22

  • Aldrich is accused of entering Club Q late Nov. 18 shooting an AR-style gun.
  • Aldrich faces 10 preliminary charges: five counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime.
  • In 2016, before the suspected shooter turned 16, Aldrich petitioned a Texas court to change his name to Anderson Lee Aldrich from Nicholas F. Brink. 
  • Aldrich was arrested in June 2021 by the El Paso County Sheriff on charges of felony menacing and first-degree kidnapping, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. Aldrich allegedly threatened to harm their mother with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition, prompting the police to evacuate the area. Aldrich refused to comply with deputy orders to surrender. The sheriff’s regional explosives unit did not find any explosive devices.  There is no public record that prosecutors pursued the charges, and Aldrich’s case was sealed. 
  • Aldrich is believed to be the grandchild of former California state Rep. Randy Voepel, a San Diego County Republican who has opposed legislation that would allow transgender Californians to update their names and genders on marriage licenses and birth certificates. Voepel has also opposed gun control measures. 

Aldrich, who was treated at a Colorado Springs hospital after being pistol-whipped and kicked in the head by patrons at the club during the attack, is facing 10 preliminary charges. They include five counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime, court records show.

The investigation into the Colorado Springs club shooting, where five people were killed and at least 18 others injured, will likely continue up until Aldrich’s trial, 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said in a news conference Monday. 

The list of charges is likely to grow when Aldrich is formally charged, potentially including assault and attempted murder.

Aldrich is being held without bond and will be represented by public defenders Joseph Archambault and Michael Bowman, court records show. Archambault did not immediately return a request for comment left on his office voicemail.

In court filings Tuesday, Aldrich’s attorneys identified their client as nonbinary.

“They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal fillings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich,” the attorneys wrote.

The message appears in a footnote in each of several court motions, which are otherwise standard in first-degree murder cases. They include asking the judge to order police to preserve their handwritten notes and to bar investigators from trying to talk to Aldrich now that the defendant has legal representation.

Another motion asks that the judge give the defense team a copy of the arrest affidavit, which has been sealed on the grounds that making it public could interfere with the ongoing investigation.

Arrest affidavits lay out the basis for criminal charges, including witness statements and summaries of evidence gathered thus far. Once a document is sealed, it typically remains sealed until a judge determines that releasing it will not interfere with a court case.

Aldrich has an advisement hearing scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the El Paso County courthouse in Colorado Springs. The defendant will appear virtually from the jail, a state court spokesman said.

Advisements are held to notify defendants of potential charges against them, and sometimes to address bond requests.

Formal charges are generally filed at a later hearing.

 

Olivia Prentzel

Olivia Prentzel is a general assignment writer for The Colorado Sun. Email: oliviaprentzel@coloradosun.com