Colorado LGBT club shooting suspect identifies as non-binary

Anderson Lee Aldrich’s attorneys alleged that their client used the non-gendered pronouns “they/them” (iel in French). Five people died on November 20 in the LGBT+ club where the attack took place.

Details about the personality of the perpetrator of the shooting who killed five people last weekend at an LGBT+ club in Colorado began to emerge Wednesday, including that this person identifies as non-binary, according to his lawyers.

Anderson Lee Aldrich appeared in court Wednesday. The defendant remained seated, dressed in the orange overalls of detainees in the United States, during a brief video appearance during the hearing during which no charges were pronounced.

Use of the pronouns “they/they”.

His two court-appointed attorneys said in court documents filed Tuesday that their client identified as non-binary, that is, he identified as neither male nor female. Anderson Lee Aldrich uses the English non-gendered pronouns “they/them” (“iel” in French).

Following this announcement, lead prosecutor Michael J. Allen indicated that the suspect’s gender identity would not change his approach to the case, nor influence his decision or not to indict him for a hate crime. “I look at the evidence,” he said, as reported by the New York Times.

The defendant spoke only to confirm his name and that he had been advised of his rights and was being held in custody on suspicion of murder.

Other details have emerged, including his childhood marked by instability and drug addict parents. According to US media reports, his birth name was Nicholas Brink. When the suspect took on the name Anderson Lee Aldrich as a teenager, his father Aaron Brink had already been arrested multiple times in California for drug possession and traffic violations.

A homophobic father

Aaron Brink, who describes himself as a former pornographic actor turned conservative Republican, told a local San Diego newspaper that his ex-wife, Laura Voepel, assured him several years ago that their baby was dead.

This is what he believed until a few months ago, when he received a phone call from Anderson Lee Aldrich which escalated into an argument, the latter making threats against his father. . Aaron Brink also told the New York Times that he had “expressed strong disapproval of homosexuals when his son was younger”.

Questioned by CBS, apparently in a precarious state, the suspect’s father said: “They started telling me there had been an accident, a shooting… And then I found out he was in a gay bar. I was scared, I was like, ‘Damn, is he gay?’ And finally, he’s not gay, so I was relieved.”

“There are no gays in the Mormon Church,” he added.

A possible life sentence

Laura Voepel, the defendant’s mother, also had run-ins with California police, including for public street drunkenness and possession of illicit substances, according to the New York Times. In 2012, she was given a suspended sentence for setting fire to a mattress in the psychiatric hospital where she was being treated, according to court documents cited by the Times.

Anderson Lee Aldrich could face prosecution for murders and hate crimes in particular, and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The hearing came four days after a massacre that killed five people and injured 18 at Club Q in Colorado Springs, a Rocky Mountain city of about 500,000. A tentative date for the reappearance of Anderson Lee Aldrich has been set for December 6.

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