- The suspect in the Colorado LGBTQ club shooting has already had a confrontation with police, according to the AP.
- At least five people were killed and 18 injured at ClubQ in Colorado Springs.
- Police said Anderson Aldrich, 22, is in custody as a suspect in the shooting.
The suspect who police say killed at least 5 people and injured 18 others at a Colorado LGBTQ club had a confrontation with police last year after police responded to an alert call to the bomb, according to reports.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez has identified 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich, whom police arrested at the scene of the shooting, as a suspect. Vasquez said the shooting suspect entered ClubQ on Saturday night and immediately began firing a “long gun” before two people “broke and fought” the Aldrich, holding the suspect until arrival of the police.
At a Monday press conference, Vasquez named the two individuals who arrested the suspect, one of whom struck them with one of his own firearms. Thomas James and Richard Fierro were mentioned as “heroes” during the conference. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the two “save a lot of lives.”
“I’ve never met a person who took such heroic action and was so humbled about it,” Suthers said of meeting Fierro. “He said, ‘I was just trying to protect my family.'”
Here’s everything we know so far about the alleged shooter.
Formal charges have yet to be filed
On Monday, Colorado Springs District Attorney Michael Allen said no charges have yet been filed and the alleged shooter is being held without bail, with charges pending within days. The suspected shooter was still being treated for injuries in hospital on Monday.
Court documents show preliminary charges of five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated felony causing bodily harm, per CNN.
The alleged shooter’s initial appearance in jail and charges will take place this week, Allen added.
The FBI is helping the police investigate the shooting. Chief Vasquez previously told a press conference that no motive was identified for the shooting and that it was not being investigated as a hate crime – but that police was considering investigating it as a hate crime.
The club, where the carnage took place, had announced an all-ages drag brunch in honor of Transgender Remembrance Day on its Facebook page on Sunday.
Suspect identifies as non-binary, attorney says
In a court filing on Tuesday, ahead of the suspect’s initial appearance in jail on Wednesday, an attorney wrote, “Anderson Aldrich is not binary,” according to the filing. “They use the pronouns They/them, and for the purposes of all official filings they will be referred to as Mx. Aldrich.”
The alleged shooter’s history with law enforcement
In June 2021, the suspect was arrested after their mother said she threatened her with a pipe bomb, according to The Associated Press. Although the suspect was arrested with a bomb squad and crisis negotiators responding, there is no record of prosecutors charging them with criminal kidnapping charges, according to the AP.
Colorado Springs Police Public Information Officer Pam Castro did not respond to any questions about the suspect’s prior interactions with police at a press conference Sunday, as well as Monday.
He wasn’t deterred by Colorado’s red flag law
At a press conference on Monday, Allen and Mayor John Suthers offered their condolences to the families of the victims and said they could not clarify whether police used the state’s red flag law after the suspect’s previous incident, adding that information about the incident was sealed due to Colorado state law.
“Law enforcement, in appropriate circumstances, should use the law,” Suthers said. “I would caution against concluding that this circumstance necessitated the application of this red flag law.”
November 22, 2022: This story has been updated to reflect a Tuesday court filing from Aldrich’s attorney.