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Sexual orientation of Colorado shooting suspect may impact hate crime charges

Sexual orientation of Colorado shooting suspect may impact hate crime charges


Sexual orientation of Colorado shooting suspect may impact hate crime charges

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The alleged gunman facing possible hate crime charges in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub is nonbinary, the suspect's defense team says in court filings.

In several standard motions filed on behalf of Anderson Lee Aldrich on Tuesday, public defenders refer to the suspect as “Mx. Aldrich," noting in footnotes that Aldrich, 22, is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. The motions deal with issues like unsealing documents and evidence gathering, not Aldrich's identity and there was no elaboration about it.

Aldrich, who was beaten into submission by patrons during Saturday night's shooting at Club Q, was scheduled to appear in court for the first time Wednesday by video from jail. The motive in the shooting was still under investigation, but authorities said Aldrich faces possible murder and hate crime charges.

Hate crime charges would require proving that the gunman was motivated by bias, such as against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The charges against Aldrich are preliminary, and prosecutors have not yet filed formal charges. Aldrich is represented by Joseph Archambault, a chief trial deputy with the state public defender’s office. Lawyers from the office do not comment on cases to the media.