As authorities continue to investigate the tragic mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado as a potential hate crime, the suspect is reportedly nonbinary.
CBS Colorado reports that according to court documents filed on Tuesday, “Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.”
While documents filed Monday used he/him pronouns in reference to Aldrich, those filed on Tuesday use the prefix Mx.
The 22-year-old Aldrich was arrested at the scene of the shooting early Sunday morning after being subdued by bar patrons, including one trans woman who was previously incorrectly identified as a drag performer. Aldrich has been charged with five counts of murder and five hate crimes charges.
Earlier this week, a former friend told The Daily Beast that Aldrich frequently used anti-gay slurs. “He said things sometimes that probably should have been alarming to me,” Xavier Kraus said. “He used the term ‘fa***t’ a lot. Most of the time it came from a place of anger.”
Born Nicholas Brink, court documents show that the suspected shooter legally changed their name to “Anderson Aldrich” when they were 16.
Multiple media outlets have confirmed that Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing California Republican State Assemblymember Randy Voepel (R), who compared the January 6 Capitol insurrection to the Revolutionary War. According to CBS Colorado, Aldrich’s father, Aaron Brink, is an MMA fighter and porn actor with a history of arrests in multiple states.
Aldrich was previously arrested in 2021 and charged with five felonies after threatening their mother with a homemade bomb and multiple weapons. Aldrich was never prosecuted.
Authorities are still investigating Aldrich’s motive in carrying out the horrific attack. In Colorado, prosecutors only have to prove that bias was one factor in a suspect’s motivation in order to convict them on hate crime charges.
“As we wait for evidence and information to emerge, what we do know is that this violent and unspeakable crime, which clearly targeted LGBTQ people, illustrates two facts: One, the epidemic of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, especially anti-transgender rhetoric, is infecting every part of America, created by politicians in their crass drive for power, parroted by right-wing media outlets, and amplified by social media platforms who prioritize profits over public safety,” Tony Morrison, GLAAD’s senior director of communications, said. “And two: assault weapons continue to senselessly end American lives and we need common-sense gun safety reform now.”
Morrison noted that newly released polling by GLAAD indicates that 72 percent of transgender people and 48 percent of the LGBTQ community overall fear for their personal safety due to the current political environment.