Club Q Shooter Makes First Court Appearance in Colorado Springs Via Video

The individual accused of slaughtering five people in a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub Saturday night appeared in court, via video from the El Paso County jail, for the first time on Wednesday.

Anderson Lee Aldrich’s face still showed some of the effects of a beating from an Army veteran, a Navy officer, and a transwoman’s heels as the suspect slumped in a chair behind two defense attorneys and mumbled answers to a handful of procedural questions from the judge.

Judge Charlotte Ankeny ordered Aldrich held without bail and set a next court appearance for December 6, but defense attorney Joseph Archambault asked for that date to be changed because of his unavailability. Ankeny was unable to arrange a different date but urged the defense to contact the Judge Michael McHenry, who will preside over future proceedings, after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The defense also asked for a copy of the arrest affidavit, which has been sealed. El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen did not object, and Ankeny agreed that a copy should be provided but could not be released beyond the defense.

Aldrich has been charged with five counts of murder and five counts of bias crimes in the deaths of Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Green Vance, who were shot to death at Club Q just before midnight on Saturday. Aldrich was in custody minutes later after Army veteran Richard Fierro dragged the shooter to the ground by the body armor, with assistance from Navy officer Thomas James and the as yet unnamed transwoman who stomped Aldrich’s face with her heels, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

In addition to the five fatalities, 18 people were wounded.

Aldrich was previously arrested last June for threats against the suspect’s mother and law enforcement with a bomb and other weapons, but no prosecution ever took place and the records were sealed. KKTV obtained the arrest documents, however, which said Aldrich wanted to be “the next mass shooter” and said the bomb was powerful enough to “blow up a police department and a federal building.”

No explosive devices were found, but Aldrich was seen in a livestreamed video wearing body armor and carrying a rifle.

Aldrich’s mother is the daughter of outgoing California state assemblyman Randy Voepel, a vocal supporter of the January 6 insurrection.

Aldrich’s father — Aaron Brink, a former porn actor (Dirk Delaware) and MMA fighter who also appeared on the A&E series Intervention — told KFMB that he praised Aldrich “for violent behavior really early.”

“It is instant and you’ll get immediate results,” Brink said.

When told Aldrich — who was given the name Nicholas Brink at birth — had opened fire in a gay bar, Brink, who said he is Mormon, said his first reaction was “You know Mormons don’t do gay.”

“We don’t do gay. There’s no gays in the Mormon church. We don’t do gay,” Brink said.

Later in the interview, Brink said that killing people was wrong and “not the answer” and apologized to the families of the victims.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said. “Life is so fragile and it’s valuable. Those people’s lives were valuable. You know, they’re valuable. They’re good people probably.  It’s not something you kill somebody over.”

Aldrich’s attorneys have said that the defendant now claims to be non-binary and uses the pronouns they and them, although Brink repeatedly referred to the suspect as his son and with male pronouns. Prosecutor Allen said no on Wednesday when the Gazette asked if Aldrich’s claim to be non-binary would affect how he prosecutes the case.

“His legal definition in this proceeding is ‘the defendant,’” Allen said.

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[Featured image: Anderson Lee Aldrich/Colorado Springs Police Department]

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