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Counterclaim: Suspect in Colorado Gay Club Shooting is Nonbinary

Gay Club Shooting is Nonbinary

Gay Club Shooting is Nonbinary

Defense attorneys for the alleged gunman in the Colorado Springs gay nightclub massacre claim their client is nonbinary in court documents. The suspect faces possible hate crime charges in connection with the shooting deaths of five people.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is nonbinary and utilizes they/them pronouns, which are noted in footnotes in multiple typical motions filed on Tuesday by public defenders on behalf of Aldrich. The identity of Aldrich is not discussed in any detail in the motions, which focus on things like unsealing papers and gathering evidence.

Victimized by clubgoers following Saturday night’s shooting at Club Q, Aldrich was set to make his first court appearance via video link from jail on Wednesday. Authorities have stated that Aldrich could be charged with murder and/or a hate crime, though they have yet to determine a motive for the shooting.

Proof of bias, in this case against the victims’ real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, would be necessary for charges of hate crime. Aldrich is facing unofficial charges at this time because formal charges have not been filed. Joseph Archambault, a principal trial deputy of the state public defender’s office, is representing Aldrich in court. This firm’s attorneys do not give interviews to the press on pending or resolved matters.

It was also disclosed on Tuesday that Aldrich legally changed his name as a teenager to “protect himself” from his abusive father. His father had a history of criminal behavior, including domestic abuse against Aldrich’s mother.

Until 2016, Aldrich was known by his birth name, Nicholas Franklin Brink. According to court documents, Aldrich filed a petition to alter his name with a Texas court weeks before he turned 16. Brink’s grandparents, who were also their legal guardians, filed the name change petition on their behalf.

Minor wants to keep his distance from his criminal birth father and his past. The petition in Bexar County, Texas said that the father had not seen the youngster in several years.

State and federal court records show that the alleged shooter’s father, a former mixed martial arts fighter and pornography performer, was convicted of battery against the alleged shooter’s mother, Laura Voepel, both before and after the alleged shooter was born. After Aaron F. Brink was convicted of misdemeanor battery in 2002 in California, a protective order was put in place prohibiting him from having any contact with the suspect or Voepel without going through an attorney. However, the order was later modified to allow for supervised visits between Brink and his daughter.

Public records show that the father served 2.5 years in prison for importing marijuana and was found to have used illegal steroids while on supervised release. Tuesday was the last day to reach Brink for his thoughts.

Months after Aldrich supposedly became the target of internet bullying, he requested to legally alter his name. They may have been bullied in high school, as evidenced by a June 2015 online post targeting a student named Nick Brink. The post mocked Brink for being overweight, poor, and interested in Chinese cartoons, and it featured images that resembled those of the shooting suspect.
According to available documents, the father was also convicted of marijuana importation and sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. While on supervised release, he disregarded the terms of his parole by taking illegal steroids. Tuesday was the last day to reach Brink for his thoughts.

In the months following what appears to have been an incident of online abuse, Aldrich approached family members with the request to legally alter his name. As evidenced by a June 2015 internet post targeting a student named Nick Brink, this person may have been the target of bullying during their time in high school. The post mocked Brink for their weight, lack of money, and purported interest in Chinese cartoons, and it included images that resembled those of the shooting suspect.

Further, an account was created on YouTube under Brink’s name and uploaded an animation with the headline “Asian homosexual is molested.”

The Washington Post was the first to report about the rebranding and the bullying that followed.

Upon request from the prosecution, the court documents detailing Aldrich’s arrest were kept under wraps. Police reported that Aldrich had been transferred from the hospital to the El Paso County jail.

A YouTube channel was also created in Brink’s name, where a cartoon titled “Asian homosexual gets abused” could be viewed.

The Washington Post was the first to report about the rebranding and the bullying that followed.

Upon request from the prosecution, the court documents detailing Aldrich’s arrest were kept under wraps. Police reported that Aldrich had been transferred from the hospital to the El Paso County jail.

A longtime Club Q patron who was shot in the back and thigh said the club’s reputation made it a target. Speaking in a video statement released by UC Health Memorial Hospital, Ed Sanders said he thought about what he would do in a mass shooting after the 2016 massacre of 49 people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Sanders, 63, said, “I think this incident emphasizes the fact that LGBT people need to be accepted.” I aim to be a tough person. This life has taught me resilience, and I am a survivor. “I refuse to let a sick person kill me.

Two clubgoers, including Richard Fierro, stopped the attack by taking a revolver from Aldrich and using it to punch the attackers before pinning them down with the help of a third person until the police came.

In addition to Daniel Aston, 28, who had worked as a bartender and entertainer at the club, Kelly Loving, 40, whose sister described her as “caring and sweet,” and Derrick Rump, 38, who was also a bartender at the club and known for his wit, were killed.

Bayn is an intern with the Statehouse News Initiative of the Associated Press and Report for America. When journalists from Report for America, a national service organization, are placed in local newsrooms, they are able to cover stories that might otherwise go unreported.

 

Colleen Slevin in Denver, Jake Bleiberg in Dallas, Amy Forliti in Minneapolis, Matthew Brown in Billings, Montana, Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, and Rhonda Shafner in New York all contributed reporting and research for the Associated Press.

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