Club Q suspect Anderson Aldrich shown battered in photos of booking in court

Anderson Aldrich Mass Shooting Club Q suspect
The Club Q is pictured on November 22, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Anderson Lee Aldrich is accused of killing five people and injuring several others in a mass shooting at the LGBTQ bar on Saturday.
Chet Strange/Getty Images

The suspect in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado appears to be badly battered and injured in photos taken during booking and a court hearing.

Police say Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, killed five people and injured many others after opening fire at Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. Photos of Aldrich, who was being treated at a hospital after the shooting, were released on Wednesday and show multiple facial injuries that may have been inflicted by bar patrons who fought back and overpowered the suspect.

The Colorado Springs Police Department divided two posting photos posted by Aldrich on Twitter on Wednesday, with bruises and scratches visible over much of the suspect’s face and neck. Additional photos released by Reuters on Wednesday, taken from prison the same day during a distant court hearing, show a still-injured Aldrich slumped to his side while sitting in a wheelchair next to lawyers.

Aldrich is being held on five counts of first-degree murder. The dead in the shooting include 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, 28-year-old Daniel Aston, 34-year-old Ashley Paugh, 38-year-old Derrick Rump and 40-year-old Kelly Loving. At least 17 others were injured.

El Paso District Attorney Michael Allen reportedly said after Wednesday’s hearing that charges are expected to be brought at a hearing scheduled for December 6. Aldrich will remain in custody after El Paso County Judge Charlotte Ankeny ordered him held without bail.

Police identified Club Q patrons Richard Fierro and Thomas James as two of the “heroes” who police said stopped Aldrich from continuing to shoot and potentially causing further damage.

Fierro, an Army veteran who was at the club with his family to see a drag performance by his daughter’s girlfriend, snatched Aldrich’s gun during the shooting and used it to repeatedly hit the suspect, police said. Fierro added that a third person identified as a trans woman also repeatedly kicked Aldrich in the head.

In a court filing Tuesday night, Aldrich’s attorneys said the suspect identifies himself as “non-binary” and uses she/them pronouns. However, some have expressed doubts, arguing that the non-binary declaration could be a disingenuous attempt to “troll” the LGBTQ community.

Although no clear motive has been identified for the shooting, many have speculated that anti-LGBTQ rhetoric could be to blame. Club Q planned to stage an all-ages drag show on Sunday that far-right activists have repeatedly and baselessly claimed is being used to “groom” children.

Meanwhile, Aldrich’s father Aaron Brink, an MMA fighter and porn actor also known as “Dick Delaware,” reportedly responded to the shooting by first expressing concern that his son might be gay after finding out had that the fatal incident had taken place in a gay bar.

Brink told CBS affiliate KFMB he was “scared” Aldrich might be gay after hearing the shooting happened at Club Q. He expressed relief to learn that Aldrich was not gay, stating that homosexuality would clash with his values ​​as a Mormon and a “conservative Republican.”

“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting … Then I find out it’s a gay bar,” Brink said. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, is he gay?’ I got scared, ‘S*** is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I was like, ‘Whew!'”

“I’m Mormon and I’m a conservative Republican,” he continued. “And we don’t do gay, we don’t do gay … I’m glad he’s not gay.”

news week has reached out to the Colorado Springs Police Department for comment. Club Q suspect Anderson Aldrich shown battered in photos of booking in court

Rick Schindler

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