The suspect in a fatal shot at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub will continue to be held without bail, a judge said during their first court appearance on Wednesday.
Five persons were killed and 17 others were shot and wounded in the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs late Saturday night. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The suspect, 22 years old Anderson Lee Aldrichappeared in court virtually from jail for Wednesday’s hearing, collapsed in a wheelchair wearing a yellow sleeveless jumpsuit and handcuffed with bruises apparent on his face.
El Paso County Court Judge Charlotte Ankeny said she found there was “legal authority” to hold Aldrich without bond at this time.
She scheduled the suspect’s next court appearance for December 6 at 8:30 a.m. local time, although that could be changed due to a scheduling conflict with the defense.
The Colorado state public defender wrote in court documents released Tuesday that Aldrich is not binary. They are being held on 10 “arrest only” counts: five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated felony causing bodily harm, according to online court records.
The district attorney’s office plans to file formal charges by the next court date, Colorado’s fourth judicial district attorney, Michael Allen, who serves El Paso and Teller counties, told reporters. during a press briefing after Wednesday’s hearing. There could be more charges than originally included in the arrest warrant, he previously said.
The El Paso County District Court sealed the warrant and supporting documents related to Aldrich’s arrest. According to the prosecutors’ motion, if the records were made public, “it could jeopardize the ongoing investigation into the case.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, the defense requested an unsealed copy of the arrest warrant to review before the next court date. The judge granted that request, with a protective order in place that he would not be released again.
The shooter used a long gun and was injured in the shooting, police said. Two “heroes” — identified as Thomas James and Richard Fierro – confronted and fought with the shooter, police said. Officers responded to the scene and arrested Aldrich just after midnight and transported them to a local hospital, where they had been held in the days following the incident.
On Tuesday, the Colorado Springs Police Department said it had handed over custody from the suspect to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the jail.
Colorado Springs police said Tuesday they do not expect to provide additional updates on the case until Monday.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told ABC News the suspect “had considerable ammunition” and “was extremely well armed.” While one motive is still under investigation, Suthers said “it has the outward signs of a hate crime.”
Allen would not comment on a possible motive on Wednesday.
“I know these are things that people want to hear about, but in order to protect this lawsuit and to make sure that we do our best to move forward in this case and bring justice to the victims in this case, we have to be very careful about what we say,” he said.
When asked how the fact that the suspect is non-binary might affect potential bias charges, Allen said: “I’m looking at evidence, evidence of what happened here. That’s what we consider when making ranking decisions.”
Hundreds of people gathered at Colorado Springs City Hall on Wednesday for a ceremony honoring the victims of the shooting.
The city displayed a 14′ x 25′ flag loaned to the city by the Sacred Cloth Project “as a gesture of love, solidarity and healing following the Club Q shooting”, the city said. The flag was also displayed in downtown Orlando after the fatal Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 and has returned each year on the anniversary of the massacre.
“What does the future look like for Colorado Springs, and especially for the LGBTQ+ community? There is so much love and support for you here today,” said city council member Nancy Henjum, who represents the district where the shooting occurred. the crowd gathered. “We must continue this for days, weeks, years and lifetimes to come.”
“We heard from many of you yesterday in this same building, in the upstairs rooms of this historic city hall, that you don’t feel safe, that you don’t feel respected, that we need to do better,” she continued. “Yes, we have to do better. We will do better.”
Among those present were Club Q co-owners Nic Grzecka and Matthew Haynes.
More details are emerging about the suspect following the shooting.
Aldrich was a gun enthusiast, according to friends who spoke to ABC News.
In June 2021, Aldrich was arrested in an alleged bomb threat incident after his mother alerted authorities that they “threatened to harm him with a pipe bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition,” according to a statement. release posted online last year by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Although no explosives were found in their possession, Aldrich was incarcerated in the El Paso County Jail on two counts of felony threatening and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, according to the office of the sheriff.
Aldrich’s 2021 arrest may not have appeared in background checks because the case does not appear to have gone to trial, officials briefed on the investigation told ABC News.
ABC News and other news outlets have asked the Colorado court to unseal records relating to Aldrich’s 2021 arrest.
Allen told ABC News on Tuesday that after the suspect’s first court appearance, the prosecutor will appeal to have Aldrich’s sealed 2021 case files opened next week.
ABC News’ Morgan Winsor, Matt Gutman, Stephanie Wash, Robert Zepeda and Ashley Riegle contributed to this report.