Club Q shooting suspect makes first court appearance Wednesday

DENVER — The suspect in the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs acknowledged their rights and was ordered held without bond at their first court appearance Wednesday — appearing slumped over and muttering their name when asked.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, appeared in court virtually from the El Paso County jail. They were joined by their two attorneys. Aldrich wore an orange jump suit, was slumped over behind their attorneys, and slowly said their name when asked by the judge.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said prosecutors would be pursuing a proof evidence-presumption great hearing in the case, which would determine whether the felony charges Aldrich will likely face when they are formally charged would move forward.

The judge set Dec. 6 as Aldrich’s next tentative court date, and Allen said that Aldrich could be formally charged on or before that date. But one of Aldrich’s attorneys already has a court hearing scheduled that day, he told the court, so the court date could potentially change.

Allen also told the court he had no objection to Aldrich’s attorneys obtaining the arrest warrant from the court to review on behalf of Aldrich. The judge said she would allow the warrant to be unsealed solely for the defense attorneys. It will be publicly unsealed at a later date.

Aldrich was arrested for investigation of 10 counts in connection with the shooting at Club Q: five counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and five counts of bias-motivated crime. Aldrich has not been formally charged.

The hearing lasted less than 10 minutes Wednesday morning. Afterward, Allen answered questions from members of the media and talked about what happened in court.

DA speaks after Club Q suspect’s first court appearance

He said he was not going to litigate the case in the press and declined to answer questions about the ongoing investigation, saying he wanted to ensure the integrity of the case.

Aldrich’s defense counsel said in a filing this week that Aldrich identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. Allen, asked if that affected anything with the prosecution, said he will only refer to any suspect as “the defendant.”

Allen also said he saw nothing that showed him that Aldrich was anything but competent to understand his rights and the proceedings.

“As I said, the court asked specific questions about their constitutional rights and [they] acknowledged them. So, it appears [they’re] physically competent,” Allen said.

As to what he wants the families of the victims and survivors to know going into the holidays, Allen said he wanted them to know they would have his office’s full support.

“We are going to be the voice for the victims in the courtroom and we’ll be fighting alongside them in this process,” he said.

Five people were shot and killed in Saturday night’s shooting at Club Q. They were formally identified Tuesday as Daniel Aston, 28; Raymond Green Vance, 22; Kelly Loving, 40; Ashley Paugh, 35; and Derrick Rump, 38. Nineteen other people were injured.

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