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Fragments of a troubled young life emerge, but mysteries about Anderson Aldrich remain

Summer Lin and Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

New details have emerged in the case against Anderson Aldrich, the suspect in the deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub, that have raised further questions about a potential motive in the attack that left five dead and 18 wounded in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The day before Aldrich was set to appear for the first time in court, the 22-year-old’s attorneys submitted a filing explaining that Aldrich identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.

That information is among the few pieces gathered about Aldrich.

Scattered elements of the suspect’s biography — a name change, a 2021 arrest in which their mother accused them of threatening her with a homemade bomb, a family connection to a California lawmaker — have emerged. But much is still unknown.

Little about Aldrich has turned up online or on social media, and only the suspect’s estranged father has spoken publicly since the Colorado shooting.

Aldrich appeared via video Wednesday from the El Paso County Jail during a six-minute hearing after being released from the hospital following Saturday’s attack. They were ordered held without bail. No formal charges have yet been filed, and the next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 6.

 

The suspect only spoke while answering the judge’s questions. They said their name out loud, “Anderson Aldrich,” and answered yes when the judge asked if they watched the video about their constitutional rights in this case.

Aldrich was arrested on suspicion of murder and bias-motivated crimes — Colorado’s term for hate crimes — police said, but officials have not identified what prompted the shooting. Legal experts say Aldrich’s gender identity has no bearing on whether hate crime charges could be filed.

A spokesperson with the district attorney’s office of Colorado’s 4th Judicial Circuit declined to comment on whether Aldrich’s gender identity would disqualify them from any charges in connection with the fatal shooting and said “evidence will drive the appropriate charges.”

Aldrich’s attorneys requested the arrest warrant be unsealed, but did not respond to further requests for comment.

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