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Suspect in Club Q shooting is nonbinary, attorneys say

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(NewsNation) — The person who is accused of killing five people during a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado is nonbinary, according to court records.

Joseph Archambault and Michael Bowman, the public defenders for Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, included the information about the suspect’s identity in the footnotes of a motion filed Tuesday. Aldrich is facing murder and hate crime charges.

“Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich,” the attorneys wrote. The footnote was included in a document notifying the court of Aldrich’s legal representation.

The Colorado Springs Police Department said in a tweet Tuesday that Aldrich was turned over to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the jail. They are scheduled to go before a judge via video Wednesday.

Aldrich was tackled and beaten by bar patrons during the attack in Colorado Springs that left 17 other people with gunshot wounds. They face five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, online court records showed.

Police have declined to answer questions about what evidence suggests hate crime charges are warranted.

Officials have identified the victims killed in Sunday’s shooting as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.

Aldrich changed their name more than six years ago as a teenager, after filing a legal petition in Texas saying they wanted protection from a father with a criminal history including domestic violence against the suspect’s mother.

Aldrich was known as Nicholas Franklin Brink until 2016. Weeks before their 16th birthday, they petitioned a Texas court to change their name, court records show. A petition for the name change was submitted on Brink’s behalf by their grandparents, who were his legal guardians at the time.

Aldrich identified as a male at the time of the name change request, the court records appear to indicate.

“Minor wishes to protect himself and his future from any connections to birth father and his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years,” said the petition filed in Bexar County, Texas.

The suspect’s father is a mixed martial arts fighter and pornography performer with an extensive criminal history, including convictions for battery against the alleged shooter’s mother, Laura Voepel, both before and after the suspect was born, state and federal court records show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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