UPDATE: Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect in the deadly LGBTQ nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs made an initial appearance in court by video Wednesday. The accused mass killer was held without bail.
In a brief video appearance from jail, 22-year-old could be seen slumped in a chair, flanked by two defense attorneys, Fox News reported.
The attorneys had to prompt their client when El Paso County Court Judge Charlotte Ankeny asked Anderson questions.
With visible facial injuries, Aldrich answered in slurred, hushed tones. The attorneys waived reading an advisement of the rights, charges, and penalties in the case.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The suspect in the horrific Club Q mass shooting that left five people dead and 18 others injured in Colorado Springs wants to be referred to as nonbinary.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, has used male pronouns throughout his life, including a video he made last year when he threatened to blow up his mom. The El Paso Sheriff’s Department received reports from Aldrich’s mother on June 18, 2021, stating that he was “threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition,” the agency said.
Aldrich filmed himself in tactical gear on Facebook Live during a standoff with the sheriff’s department, saying, “Today I die … This is your boy. I’ve got ****** outside. Got their rifles out.. If they breach I’m ***** blow it to holy hell. So go ahead and come on in boys! Let’s ****** see it!”
The bravado faded and eventually deputies were able to get Aldrich to surrender as he exited the house and was taken into custody. Personnel from the sheriff’s department searched both his mother’s home and the residence Aldrich had been in, but found no evidence of explosives, Law Officer reported.
Ultimately, Aldrich was charged with two counts of felony menacing, and three counts of first-degree kidnapping for the incident.
However, Aldrich’s lawyers said in Tuesday court filings that the biological male now wishes to be nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, the New York Post reported.
Public defenders Michael Bowman and Joseph Archambault filed several motions on Tuesday night that included a footnote about their client’s identity.
“Anderson Aldrich is nonbinary,” the footnote said, according to the Denver Post reported. “They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.”
Aldrich was booked at the El Paso County Jail on Tuesday after being discharged from the hospital. The newly proclaimed nonbinary individual is scheduled for an advisement hearing at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the El Paso County courthouse.
Hearings of this nature are held to notify defendants of possible charges and sometimes to address bond requests. The defendant will appear virtually from the jail, a state court rep told the Colorado Sun.
Aldrich likely faces five murder charges as well as five counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. It remains unclear if state or federal hate crime charges will be filed.
Meanwhile, the identity of Aldrich’s biological father has come to light. The defendant’s estranged father has been identified as an ex-con former MMA fighter-turned-porn actor, the New York Post reported.
Aaron Franklin Brink, 51, began fighting MMA in the ’90s, achieving 21 victories over the course of 10 years — including appearances with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting, MMA Junkie wrote in a profile.
Brink began working in the porn industry at age 27 using the name Dick Delaware, the Denver Gazette reported.
He performed in explicit productions “White Boys Can Hump’’ in 2016 and both “My MILF Boss 8’’ and “It’s OK to Put It in My Ass’’ in 2014, according to his IMDb page.
Brink also has an extensive criminal history, according to The Post. He has prior convictions for battery against Aldrich’s mom, Laura Voepel, both before and after the defendant was born, according to state and federal court records.
Furthermore, it was revealed that Aldrich’s name was changed more than six years ago after filing a legal petition in Texas seeking to “protect himself” from a dad with a criminal history.
The accused mass shooter was formerly known as Nicholas Franklin Brink until 2016 when a petition was filed on his behalf by the teens grandparents, who were his legal guardians at the time.
“Minor wishes to protect himself and his future from any connections to birth father and his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years,” the petition stated.
Aldrich was reportedly the target of online bullying months before the name change request was made.