A judge in Colorado ordered the suspect, who is accused of shooting five people at a gay nightclub that was held without obligation on Wednesday, during the defendant’s first appearance in court.
The public got a first look at Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who appeared virtually from prison in front of Charlotte Ankeny, judge of the 4th Judicial District Court.
Aldrich wore a sleeveless prison gown during the trial while he appeared to be in a wheelchair in prison. The defendant, whom defense attorneys identified as a nonbinary person using pronouns, appeared lethargic and his head was tilted to the right.
Aldrich was barely audible when he was asked by the judge to confirm his identity.
Aldrich was released from a hospital and taken to jail on Tuesday, officials said. The accused gunman was treated for injuries sustained when disarmed by clubbers.
The extent of the suspect’s injuries isn’t clear.
Ankeny not only held the defendant without bail during the brief hearing in the El Paso district, but also ordered prosecutors to hand over sealed arrest warrants to Aldrich’s defense attorney.
“I will forward the affidavit to the defense attorney and their investigator with a protective order that it will no longer be published,” she ruled.
The judge set Aldrich’s next court date for December 6, but that could change, she said, as one of the defendant’s lawyers could be in court that day.
It’s been almost four days since five people were killed in Club Q.
Aldrich was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and a further five counts of allegedly committing these crimes as part of a biased attack.
The suspect is accused of going to the Colorado Springs LGBTQ club with a high-powered rifle late Saturday evening and opening fire.
The carnage could have been worse if it wasn’t for the quick action of 45-year-old Army veteran Richard Fierro and another person who jumped on Aldrich to stop the shooting, officials said.