Colorado Springs shooting latest: Suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich released from hospital

Army veteran gives account of tackling Colorado Springs gunman

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Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich is facing at least five counts of murder along with five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

At least five people were killed and 18 others sustained injuries when the 22-year-old suspect stormed into an LGBT+ nightclub just before Saturday midnight and opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle.

The suspect was taken down by an Army veteran named Richard Fierro, with the help of a trans woman who stomped on the suspect.

“It’s the reflex,” Mr Fierro told reporters on Monday evening, describing how he ran across the room, grabbed the shooter’s weapon, pulled hm to the floor, and began hitting him with his own pistol.

On Tuesday President Joe Biden phoned Mr Fierro to personally thank him for “his bravery and his just instinct to act”.

Police named the five people who died as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance, listing their pronouns along with their names.

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Full story: Anderson Lee Aldrich out of hospital

A tweet from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) confirmed that Mr Aldirch had been transferred to jail under the custody of the local county sheriff’s department

Although officials did not give any details about Mr Aldrich’s injuries, we do know from witnesses that the shooter was forcibly subdued by a group of patrons led by local Army veteran Richard Fierro, 44.

Mr Fierro said he grabbed the shooter’s pistol and repeatedly beat him with it, while another patron stomped on the attacker with her high heels.

Io Dodds23 November 2022 01:00


Suspect released from hospital

Suspected shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich has been released from hospital and transferred to jail, according to reports.

“CSPD has turned over custody of the Club Q suspect to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the jail. A photo will be released when available,” said the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Mr Aldrich, 22, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and hate crimes and is scheduled to face a judge tomorrow morning via video link.

Io Dodds23 November 2022 00:39


ICYMI: Who were the victims?

A gunman burst into Club Q and opened fire just before midnight on Saturday, opening fire with an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun.

The suspect — identified by police as Anderson Aldrich, 22, allegedly shot five people; two bartenders, a mother-of-one on a night out, a transgender woman and a local man celebrating a friend’s birthday.

Police initially said 25 were wounded in the attack, but revised the figure down to 18 on Monday. Many suffered horrendous injuries and face a lengthy recovery.

Here’s what we know about those who died.

Oliver O’Connell23 November 2022 00:00


Full story: Biden phones Club Q hero

Here’s our full story on President Joe Biden’s phone call with former Army veteran Richard Fierro, courtesy of my colleague Oliver O’Connell.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also noted that the attack happened on the evening of Transgender Day of Remembrance, lamenting that two more names have now been added to the list of transgender people murdered in 2022.

Io Dodds22 November 2022 23:22


Marjorie Taylor Greene criticised for Colorado shooting response

Marjorie Taylor Greene was back causing controversy this week after she chose her response to the mass shooting at an LGBT club in Colorado as a means for attacking Joe Biden on unrelated issues.

Ms Greene’s two-tweet thread addressing the attack that saw five killed and more than a dozen wounded surprised few; the tweets did not address the significance of the target nor the wave of hate that right-wing political figures have directed at LGBT people and transgender Americans in particular over the past few years.

John Bowden has the story.

Oliver O’Connell22 November 2022 22:49


Witness says gunman was stomped by trans woman, not ‘drag queen’

A transgender woman who helped take down the Club Q gunman was misidentified in media reports as a drag queen, according to an actual drag performer who saw it happen.

In an interview with former Army major Richard Fierro on Monday, The New York Times reported that a “drag dancer” had helped him subdue the attacker by stomping on him with her high heels. Other outlets, including The Independent, picked up this detail.

But drag artist Del Lusional, who was performing at the club on the night of the shooting, said on Tuesday: “The one who saved my life and stomped the shooter’s face in was not a drag queen, she is a trans woman. Let’s not call trans women drag queens during this time of grieving over a transphobic attack.

“I was the only performer from the show in the building when it happened.”

She added that she believed Mr Fierro made an honest mistake, and said the woman is not yet ready to speak to the press.

The distinction is important because, although the lines can sometimes be blurred, drag is usually seen as a type of performance, with artists typically maintaing a separation between their drag persona and their usual self. By contrast, most trans people consider their gender as an innate and permanent part of their identity.

When The Independent became aware of Del Lusional’s tweet early this morning, we made a judgement that her version was likely to be correct, and immediately began changing various headlines and stories to reflect the new information.

Still, I wanted to make this post now to clearly explain how the original claim came about. If you spot anything on our site that still describes the woman as a drag queen, send me an email at io.dodds [AT]

Io Dodds22 November 2022 22:15


Joe Biden phones Richard Fierro to thank him

President Joe Biden has called Club Q hero Richard Fierro to personally thank him “for his bravery and for his just instinct to act”.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday that Mr Biden had just got off the phone with Mr Fierro, a former Army major and club patron who led the charge to subdue the attacker,

“The president just moments ago spoke to Richard and his wife Jess. He offered his condolences to them and also his support and he talked through what it’s like to grieve,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.

Mr Fierro was assisted by another man named Thomas James and by an unknown trans woman who stomped on the gunman with her high heels.

Io Dodds22 November 2022 21:43


Suspect changed name to ‘protect himself from criminal father’

New details about the life of suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich suggest a complicated family life and a difficult upbringing.

According to The Associated Press, Mr Aldrich changed his name from Nicholas Brink just before his 16th birthday in order to “protect himself” from a father with a criminal history.

“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 a petition filed in San Antonio, Texas on Mr Aldrich’s behalf by his grandparents – who were his legal guardians at the time.

The Washington Post also reports that Mr Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, was arrested for suspected arson when he was only 12 years old. She was eventually found guilty of a less serious crime.

The Post also said Mr Aldrich was targeted by bullies when he was 15, based on a website where “insulting accusations” and his personal details were posted.

Io Dodds22 November 2022 21:10


Opinion: The terrible hypocrisy of Lauren Boebert’s ‘thoughts and prayers’

Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert is “morally responsible” for Saturday night’s violence, writes gender-non-conforming journalist Skylar Baker-Jordan for The Independent.

Ms Boebert tweeted on Sunday morning that “the victims and their families are in my prayers”, adding: “This lawless violence needs to end quickly.”

But in an opinion piece for Indy Voices, Skylar writes: “Boebert and her vicious, cruel, and hateful confederates should have the decency at least to spare us their platitudes. This environment, dangerous as it is for LGBTQ Americans, is one they created. This is them reaping what they have sown.

“What happened in Colorado Springs was infuriatingly predictable precisely because of the environment the right has created. When you lie to Americans and tell them that an entire demographic of their fellow citizens is a threat to their children and to their freedom, demonizing them as predators and perverts, you have to expect there will be deadly consequences.

“We’ve been warning about this for two years now, telling you how afraid we felt, how wrong you were, how dangerous this was… and now five innocent people are dead.”

Io Dodds22 November 2022 20:41


ICYMI: Suspect is grandson of GOP lawmaker who celebrated January 6 Capitol riot

Oliver O’Connell22 November 2022 20:15

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