Colorado Springs shooting - live: Anderson Aldrich in court as records show suspect ‘wanted to be mass killer’

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.

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.

Details have continued to trickle out about Aldrich. In a Tuesday court filing, public defenders claimed Aldrich is non-binary and uses “they/them” pronouns.

Reports have also indicated that Aldrich had a troubled upbringing with a father who used drugs and worked in the porn industry and a mother with multiple arrests.

Aldrich is made a first court appearance via video link on Wednesday.

Key Points

  • Here’s what we know so far about the five victims

  • Trans woman in heels helped army veteran subdue gunman

  • Suspect facing multiple counts of hate crime charges

  • Governor condemns ‘horrific, sickening and devastating’ shooting

  • Suspect arrested in 2021 for ‘threatening’ mother with bomb

  • Mass shooting took place on eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance

Right-wing host blames victims for Colorado Springs shooting

20:40 , Josh Marcus

Matt Walsh, the right-wing host of the video show The Matt Walsh Show, blamed the victims of the Colorado Springs massacre for the shooting, which killed five and injured numerous others in a suspected hate attack.

Mr Walsh, in a segment on Tuesday, argued that queer people shouldn’t engage in activities like drag because of violent people who might attack them for doing so, Media Matters reports.

“If it’s causing this much chaos and violence, why do you insist on continuing to do it?” he said. “

“If according to you, it’s like putting people’s lives at risk, if the effort to have men cross-dress in front of children is putting people’s lives at risk, why are you still doing it? Is it that important to you?” he added.

Critics argue that conservative attacks on LGTBQ+ people are encouraging the sort of violence seen in Colorado Springs.

AOC eviscerates Lauren Boebert for ‘thoughts and prayers’ tweet on Colorado shooting

Old arrest papers show Colorado Springs shooting suspect wanted to be ‘next mass killer'

20:20 , Josh Marcus

Anderson Lee Aldrich, the alleged shooter who killed five people in a Colorado Springs LGTBQ+ club over the weekend, previously told their family they wanted to be the “next mass killer,” Colorado’s KKTV reports.

In June of 2021, Aldrich was arrested for threatening their mother with a homemade bomb.

According to arrest records in the case uncovered by KKTV, investigators said they believed Aldrich told family members they wanted to carry out a mass shooting and “go out in a blaze.”

Nonetheless, Aldrich then was able to legally buy guns despite Colorado’s gun laws, weapons allegedly used in the Club Q massacre.

How did the Colorado Springs gunman get his firearms despite ‘red flag’ law?

Brewery run by man who disarmed Colorado Springs shooter sees spike in support

20:00 , Josh Marcus

Richard Fierro, the clubgoer who helped disarm alleged Colorado Springs mass shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich, is seeing a spike in support for Atrevida Beer Co., the brewery he owns with his wife.

Figures including celebrity chef José Andrés and Meena Harris, the niece of vice-president Kamala Harris, have praised Mr Fierro’s heroism and urged people to support his business.

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Details of alleged Colorado Springs shooter’s troubled past obscured by name change

19:43 , Josh Marcus

At age 15, alleged Colorado Springs shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich petitioned a Texas court for a name change from their birth name, Nicholas F Brink, the Washington Post reports.

The name change is one of the reasons why learning more about the alleged shooter’s past has been difficult.

However, Post reporters dug into court records and online videos and found that Aldrich appears to have had a tumultous upbringing.

His parents separated when he was a toddler, and his mother was arrested for suspected arson.

As a teen, Aldrich was the target of frequent online bullying, including somsone setting up a fake YouTube account under their name with a crude animation titled, “Asian homosexual gets molested.”

AOC says Republican rhetoric to blame for hate attacks in Colorado and beyond

19:29 , Josh Marcus

The Republican party has been playing with fire, according to Representative Alexandria , taking racist and discriminatory views that lead to violence on the street.

In a tweet following the mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGTBQ+ club over the weekend, Ms Ocasio-Cortez called on the GOP to “connect the dots” and disavow its hateful views.

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“After Trump elevated anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric, we had the deadliest anti-Latino shooting in modern history,” she wrote. “After anti-Asian hate with COVID, Atlanta. Tree of life. Emanuel AME. Buffalo. And now after an anti-LGBT+ campaign, Colorado Springs.”

Do you agree with her analysis?

There have been 607 mass shootings this year

19:13 , Josh Marcus

America’s gun violence epidemic continues unabated, with recent tragedies in Colorado Springs and a Walmart store in Virginia.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 607 mass shootings this year, and nearly 40,000 killed by gun violence overall this year.

Local sheriff bragged about running a ‘Second Amendment county’ before Colorado Springs shooting

18:45 , Josh Marcus

After the weekend shooting at a Colorado Springs LGTBQ+ club, many are wondering how alleged shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich was able to get their gun.

The sheriff of El Paso County, home to Colorado Springs, has long bragged about his stauch support for the Second Amendment and his opposition to gun control measures.

Sheriff Bill Elder opposed a 2020 state “red flag” law, allowing courts to bar dangerous people from getting guns.

“I am exploring all available legal options and am committed to vigorously challenging the constitutionality of this law,” Sheriff Elder said in April 2019.

He also supported a resolution from county commisisoners opposing the law, declared El Paso a  “Second Amendment preservation county,” and has bragged about issuing more concealed carry permits “than any other Sheriff in the state,” the Daily Beast reports.

Yesterday, Io Dodds had this look at how Aldrich was able to evade the state’s gun laws, despite once being arrested for a bomb threat.

How did the Colorado Springs gunman get his firearms despite ‘red flag’ law?

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich seen for first time in court to face murder charges

18:39 , Josh Marcus

Anderson Lee Aldrich, who is accused of killing five people and wounding numerous others in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGTBQ+ club over the weekend, made their first appearance in court on Wednesday.

Police are still investigating the massacre and the motive behind it, but the 22-year-old could face five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

In a brief hearing, Aldrich could be seen wearing a yellow prison uniform, and a judge decided the alleged shooter would remain in county jail without bond.

Aldrich, whose attorneys say they identify as nonbinary, allegedly entered Club Q with an AR-style assault rifle and and a handgun and killed Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Derrick Rump.

Get all the details.

FLOW

Denver Post slams Boebert for ‘elevating hateful speech'

18:30 , Josh Marcus

In the wake of the mass shooting at Club Q, the most prominent paper in Laurent Boebert’s home state has taken the Colorado congresswoman to task for her long record of anti-LGTBQ+ views.

In a Wednesday editorial, The Denver Post post pointed to the connection between the MAGA Republican’s numerous attacks on the LGTBQ+ community and the hate-filled shooting that claimed five lives over the weekend.

The Post editorial board wrote that, through these remarks, Ms Boebert was “elevating hateful speech against the LGTBQ community,” adding that “her hard-line positions on gun control, ruling out even common sense measures, mean she would not have supported any efforts that might have kept guns out of this shooter’s possession.”

The paper didn’t just single out Ms Boebert though. It also hammered anti-LGTBQ religious schools who discriminate against gay parents and transgender students, as well as the Colorado voters who elevated MS Boebert in the first place.

Here’s our reporting on Colorado rep’s remarks.

AOC eviscerates Lauren Boebert for ‘thoughts and prayers’ tweet on Colorado shooting

Lauren Boebert condemned for response to Colorado Springs shooting

Suspected shooter changed his name at 15 due to online bullying

18:10 , Bevan Hurley

According to court records, the shooting suspect changed names at the age of 15.

Born Nicholas Brink, the suspect petitioned a court to change their name to Anderson Aldrich.

Read on for full story.

Colorado shooting suspect was living under a new identity

ICYMI: Five victims identified in Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub attack

17:50 , Bevan Hurley

Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green have been identified as the five victims of the Club Q shooting.

Here’s what we know about the five victims of Saturday’s mass shooting.

Who were the people killed in the Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub shooting?

‘Quite literally, y’all saved my life’

17:30 , Bevan Hurley

Colorado Springs shooting victim Daniel Aston wrote that the LGBT+ club targeted in Saturday night’s hate crime had rescued him.

“I’m not sure if I would’ve survived without you guys,” Aston, a transgender man who worked as a bartender at Club Q, wrote on Twitter two months before the attack.

He was among five people shot dead when a suspect — identified by police as Anderson Aldrich — opened fire.

Colorado shooting victim says LGBT+ club targeted in hate crime saved him

The terrible hypocrisy of Lauren Boebert’s ‘thoughts and prayers’ after Colorado Springs

17:15 , Bevan Hurley

Skylar Baker-Jordan writes for Independent Voices:

“As far as I am concerned, Boebert – who has a history of making homophobic and transphobic comments – is at least morally responsible for this “lawless violence”, even if she has no legal responsibility. This is the woman who sneered at Pete Buttigieg taking paternity leave to “figure out how to chest feed,” demeaning gay parenting. She has routinely mocked Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine for being transgender, including labeling her a “groomer.” She has warned drag queens to stay away from children, implying they are a threat to kids.”

Full story below.

The hypocrisy of Lauren Boebert’s ‘thoughts and prayers’ after Colorado Springs

Anderson Lee Aldrich: What we know about suspect in the Colorado Springs shooting

16:55 , Bevan Hurley

Here’s a recap of what we’ve discovered about the Colorado Springs shooting suspect.

Anderson Lee Aldrich: What we know about Colorado Springs shooting suspect

Livestream shows Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich threatening to blow up home in 2021

16:35 , Bevan Hurley

Gun control advocates say Club Q suspect’s armed confrontation with police in July 2021 should have triggered state’s “red flag” gun laws.

Video shows Colorado Springs shooting suspect threatening to blow up home in 2021

ICYMI: Footage shows Colorado Springs suspect surrendering to police after 2021 bomb threat incident

16:15 , Bevan Hurley

Footage has emerged of the suspect in a mass shooting attack on a Colorado Springs LGBT+ club surrendering to armed police officers after an unrelated bomb threat incident in 2021.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was arrested in July last year after his mother Laura Voepel called police to report he had threatened her with a homemade bomb, according to a statement from El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Gun control advocates have questioned why the incident failed to trigger the state’s “red flag” gun laws that would have allowed authorities to seize his weapons.

Full story.

Colorado Springs suspect seen surrendering to police after 2021 bomb threat incident

ICYMI: Army veteran gives emotional account of tackling Colorado Springs gunman

15:58 , Bevan Hurley

Richard Fierro, the former US Army major who tackled a gunman to the ground who had opened fire on an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springsand beat him unconscious, has given an emotional account of his braveryon CNN.

Speaking to John Berman on the network on Monday night, Mr Fierro described what happened when the shooter began firing in Club Q on Saturday night.

He recognised that the shooter, 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich, was wearing a flak vest which has a handle on it and ran across the room, grabbed it, and pulled him to the floor.

Another person helped Mr Fierro bring Mr Aldrich to the ground and he told them to push the AR-15 rifle away.

Full story:

Army veteran gives emotional account of tackling gunman at Club Q

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich is claiming to be non-binary

15:20 , Bevan Hurley

“They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal fillings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich,” Anderson Aldrich’s public defenders wrote in a court filing on Tuesday night.

Aldrich is due to make a first court appearance on Wednesday.

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich is claiming to be non-binary

Right-wing commentators seize on suspect claiming to identify as non-binary

14:57 , Bevan Hurley

Anderson Aldrich’s public defenders said in court filings on Tuesday night that the Colorado Springs mass shooting suspect identifies as non-binary.

The court motion was greeted with skepticism that it could be deliberately misleading, as there is no evidence from prosecutors or family that Aldrich had used them/they pronouns prior to being arrested.

In fact, Aldrich’s neighbours told the Daily Beast that the suspect frequently used homophobic slurs.

Many commentators on the right have credulously accepted the court filing.

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich and his mother Laura Voepel in a photo provided to CNN (CNN)
Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich and his mother Laura Voepel in a photo provided to CNN (CNN)

Mass shooting in Virginia Walmart on Thanksgiving eve

14:40 , Bevan Hurley

Yet another community has been rocked by a mass shooting overnight, this time at a Walmart department store in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Police have identified the suspect as a disgruntled worker who allegedly shot six people before turning the gun on himself.

Rachel Sharp has more.

Gunman who killed six in Walmart Chesapeake shooting identified as disgruntled worker

ICYMI: Who were the victims?

14:10 , Megan Sheets

The five victims who lost their lives in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub have been identified.

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:

Who were the people killed in the Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub shooting?

No updates from police until next week

13:50 , Megan Sheets

A new update came in from the Colorado Springs Police Department on Tuesday – but it didn’t say much.

“At this time, the next expected news release will be Monday, Nov. 28; Colorado Springs Police do not expect to have updates between now and then.

“Please note that there are judicial proceedings under way outside our control. If information becomes available through court action, we will notify our community through various social media platforms and media notifications.

“If the suspect’s photograph becomes available we will release it through these same avenues.”

13:30 , Megan Sheets

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.”

Read Skylar Baker-Jordan’s piece in full:

The hypocrisy of Lauren Boebert’s ‘thoughts and prayers’ after Colorado Springs

Aldrich had troubled childhood, reports claim

13:10 , Megan Sheets

In the wake of the shooting, several reports have emerged about Aldrich’s troubled childhood.

Aldrich’s biological parents separated when Aldrich was a toddler, and reportedly had multiple run-ins with the law.

Aldrich’s father is alleged to have used drugs and worked in the porn industry.

It has been speculated that Aldrich - who according to public defenders is nonbinary - changed their name from Nicholas Brink to what it is now at age 15 to gain distance from their father.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has more on the name change:

Colorado shooting suspect was living under a new identity

Public defenders say Aldrich is nonbinary and uses ‘they/them' pronouns

12:40 , Megan Sheets

Public defenders representing shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich have said that their client is nonbinary and uses “they/them” pronouns.

Lawyers made the assertion in a court filing on Tuesday night ahead of Aldrich’s court appearance on Wednesday.

The filing marked the first time Aldrich has been identified as nonbinary.

It comes amid speculation over the motive for Sunday’s shooting at Club Q, an LGBT+ venue in Colorado Springs.

While police have not officially determined a motive, it’s been widely theorised as being an anti-LGBTQ attack.

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Drag artists reject GOP claims of 'sexualising children'

08:52 , Io Dodds

It's worth examining exactly what is behind the claim that drag shows are inherently sexual, as many conservative politicians and pundits have argued (both before and since the Colorado Springs shooting).

Republican legislators have sought to ban drag events for children, describing them as "perverted sex shows" and part of "a trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualising young children".

But in an interview with The Independent in June, the executive director of Drag Queen Story Hour – an LGBT+ education charity that organisers children's book readings by drag performers in schools, libraries, and book shops – strongly pushed back on the idea that drag is inherently sexual.

"I'm not going to lie and say drag is never sexualised, because drag is an art form and it can be sexual like anything else can be," executive director (and drag artist) Jonathan Hamilt told me.

"Drag with adults in an adult setting could be sexual, sure. Is it sexual at a Drag Queen Story Hour? No! Do you bring your kids to an R-rated movie? I hope not.

"There are actors in R rated movies, and those same actors can be in a family friendly comedy that's rated G... an adult drag show at an adult bar, in the evening, with alcohol, is different from a Drag Queen Story Hour nonprofit event at 11am at a public library."

A Colorado poet remembers Club Q

07:46 , Io Dodds

Many people are sharing this poem by former Colorado Springs resident James Davis, a poet and editor who spent most of his life in the Rocky Mountains city.

"Of course, I stand for queer. / Which is to say unique / which is to say alone," reads 'Club Q', which lends its name to a book of poems published in 2020.

"I am queer / in a military town where cadets / count out football scores in pushups / and Blue Angels bar up the sky."

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Others have shared 'Jesus at the Gay Bar' by the British transgender poet Jay Hulme, which retells the Biblical parable of Jesus healing a bleeding woman to explore LGBT+ shame and conversion therapy.

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'It's like we could feel tragedy coming'

06:40 , Io Dodds

One Colorado Springs resident says there has been a "growing hatred" for the LGBT+ community in his town.

Parker Grey, 25, told NBC News: “You can just feel it. As a community, being through so much grief and so much loss after so many years, it’s almost like you can feel tragedy coming.

"The numbers thinned out at [Club Q] naturally with Covid, but I think people began to fear for their safety again like they did back in 2016 when Pulse happened." That was a reference to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, where 49 people were killed.

Colorado Springs has also seen recent controversies over LGBT+ inclusion in schools. A local school board member apologising earlier this year for sharing a transphobic meme on social media, while a trans teenage girl said she was barred from her homecoming dance because she wore a dress.

Another resident, who was previously part of an evangelical megachurch before coming out as gay, told The New York Times that the shooting was "definitely a wake up call", concluding: "It’s still not safe."

How Colorado has fared for LGBT+ rights

05:25 , Io Dodds

Like many states, Colorado has a long history of anti-LGBT+ discrimination. In 1992, 53 per cent of voters approved an amendment to the state's constitution that prevented any cities from enacting legal protections for gay, lesbian, or bisexual people.

Controversy over the amendment caused some film and TV productions, as well as various conferences and conventions, to boycott Colorado, much like North Carolina and Georgia suffered in 2016 and 2017 due to their anti-transgender "bathroom bills". It was ultimately overturned by the US Supreme Court in 1996.

Ten years later, voters passed another constitutional amendment that banned the state from recognising gay marriages, declaring that "only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid in this state". That too was overturned when the Supreme Court ruled that all Americans have a right to gay marriage in 2015.

Today, though, the non-profit Movement Advancement Project describes Colorado as one of the top US states for LGBT+ equality, citing its comprehensive non-discrimination laws, lack of religious exemptions, ban on conversion therapy, and various other factors.

Club Q patron says it was a ‘sanctuary'

04:19 , Io Dodds

A Club Q regular who lost two friends in the shooting has described how it served as a "sanctuary" for him and his community.

According to Buzzfeed News, a man named Anthony, who did not want to give reporters his last name, said he expects to feel uncomfortable going out in public for a long time.

"That has always been one of my mom's biggest worries and concerns – going out and being gay and not having somewhere to go," Anthony said.

"But when I was welcomed into Q by a bunch of people, I knew that I had a home. I had a safe space, and they made sure that everybody knew that it was a safe space."

Prosecutors can’t explain why 2021 case was dropped

03:12 , Io Dodds

Colorado prosecutors still refuse to say why a case against the shooting suspect was dropped last June, citing state laws designed to shield acquitted defendants from discrimination.

Interviewed on CBS News earlier this evening, district attorney Michael Allen said he couldn't disclose anything about the previous arrest of suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich because any dismissed case is "almost automatically" sealed.

He pushed back on the news anchor's suggestion that dropping the case allowed the suspect to evade firearms regulations, saying: "You're jumping ahead a little bit to a conclusion that is not necessarily supported."

Mr Allen also discussed the nature of the hate crime allegations against Mr Aldrich, which are known in Colorado as "bias-motivated crimes".

"We would have to show that he had some sort of animus, that he specifically targeted some groups," he said.

"Sexual orientation is one of the groups that fall under that matrix. There's obviously some evidence here that he may have targeted the location for that reason."

Anti-trans conservatives double down on 'groomer' rhetoric

02:04 , Io Dodds

Some hardcore conservatives are already doubling down on "groomer" rhetoric against LGBT+ people in the wake of the shooting.

"Leftists are using a mass shooting to try and blackmail us into accepting the castration and sexualisation of children," said anti-transgender campaigner Matt Walsh, who has referred to transition healthcare for under-18s as "molestation and rape" and "child abuse".

In this case, by the castration of children" he means providing puberty-blocking drugs or hormone replacement therapy to transgender children, and by "sexualisation" he appears to mean educating children about LGBT+ people.

Right-wing broadcaster Steven Crowder likewise said: "The Left melts down over mean tweets but celebrate the murdering of babies and child mutilation." By that he meant abortion and trans healthcare for under-18s.

Political pundit Ben Shapiro called it "cynical and ridiculous" to link anti-LGBT+ violence to anti-LGBT+ rhetoric, which he described as "noticing what the Left is doing with kids", while lawyer and commentator Kurt Schlichter said he would not "shut up about the abuse of children".

YouTuber Tim Pool went further, appearing to excuse violence against LGBT+ people as an understandable consequence of legislators' failure to "stop the grooming".

This kind of language is becoming routine on the hard right, conflating LGBT+ education, gender transition healthcare, and non-sexually-explicit drag shows with sexual abuse.

LGBT+ activists and terrorism researchers have warned that such claims lay the groundwork for violence against all LGBT+ people by dehumanising them and depicting their identities as inherently dangerous to children.

Full story: Anderson Lee Aldrich out of hospital

01:07 , Io Dodds

Here's my full story on suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich's release from 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.

Suspect released from hospital

00:39 , Io Dodds

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.

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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.

ICYMI: Who were the victims?

00:00 , Oliver O’Connell

The five victims who lost their lives in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub have been identified.

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.

Who were the people killed in the Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub shooting?

Full story: Biden phones Club Q hero

Tuesday 22 November 2022 23:22 , Io Dodds

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.

Marjorie Taylor Greene criticised for Colorado shooting response

Tuesday 22 November 2022 22:49 , Oliver O’Connell

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.

Marjorie Taylor Greene criticised for response to Colorado shooting

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

Tuesday 22 November 2022 22:15 , Io Dodds

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.”

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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] independent.co.uk.

Joe Biden phones Richard Fierro to thank him

Tuesday 22 November 2022 21:43 , Io Dodds

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.

Suspect changed name to 'protect himself from criminal father'

Tuesday 22 November 2022 21:10 , Io Dodds

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.

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

Tuesday 22 November 2022 20:41 , Io Dodds

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."

You can read Skylar's full argument here.

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

Tuesday 22 November 2022 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The 22-year-old man accused of murdering five and wounding dozens more in a mass shooting in a Colorado gay nightclub is the grandson of a GOP lawmaker who celebrated the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Colorado shooting suspect is grandson of GOP lawmaker who celebrated January 6 riot

No updates from police until next week

Tuesday 22 November 2022 20:13 , Io Dodds

We have a new update from the Colorado Springs Police Department – not that it says much.

“At this time, the next expected news release will be Monday, Nov. 28; Colorado Springs Police do not expect to have updates between now and then.

“Please note that there are judicial proceedings under way outside our control. If information becomes available through court action, we will notify our community through various social media platforms and media notifications.

“If the suspect’s photograph becomes available we will release it through these same avenues.”

Veteran gives emotional account of tackling Colorado Springs gunman

Tuesday 22 November 2022 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Richard Fierro, the former US Army major who tackled a gunman to the ground who had opened fire on an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs and beat him unconscious, has given an emotional account of his bravery on CNN.

Speaking to John Berman on the network on Monday night, Mr Fierro described what happened when the shooter began firing in Club Q on Saturday night.

Army veteran gives emotional account of tackling gunman at Club Q

Even with Colorado’s ‘red flag’ law the gunman still had firearms — how?

Tuesday 22 November 2022 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The weapons wielded during the attack on Club Q – a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun – are believed to have been purchased legally.

That was despite various state laws designed to stop dangerous people from getting hold of such weapons.

Io Dodds reports.

How did the Colorado Springs gunman get his firearms despite ‘red flag’ law?

Suspected shooter changed his name at 15 after bullying campaign

Tuesday 22 November 2022 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Colorado Springs shooting suspect changed his name at age 15 after being subjected to a vitriolic online bullying campaign, according to reports.

Anderson Aldrich, 22, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of five counts of first-degree murder after he allegedly opened fire moments after entering the LGBT+ venue Club Q on Saturday night.

A review of birth and court records by several media outlets have shed light on Mr Aldrich’s troubled childhood, in which his mother Laura Voepel had several run-ins with authorities.

Bevan Hurley has the details.

Suspected Colorado Springs club shooter changed his name at 15

Republican lawmaker grandfather claims he hasn’t spoken to suspect for 10 years

Tuesday 22 November 2022 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The grandfather of a gunman suspected of murdering five club goers at an LGBTQ nightclub claims he hasn’t spoken with him for 10 years, according to reports.

Randy Voepel, a California Assemblyman who spoke in support of the January 6 riots, is yet to publicly confirm his relationship to Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Aldrich.

According to Sacramento-based news site KCRA, Mr Voepel’s office says he is not yet ready to speak about his connection to Mr Aldrich.

Bevan Hurley has the latest.

Colorado Springs shooting: Maga grandfather hasn’t spoken to suspect for 10 years

Gunman is registered member of the Mormon church, spokesman confirms

Tuesday 22 November 2022 16:55 , Oliver O'Connell

The alleged Colorado Springs shooter is a registered member of the Mormon church, a spokesman has confirmed.

Anderson Aldrich, 22, was arrested on suspicion of hate crimes and the first-degree murder of five people at the LGBTQ venue Club Q on Saturday night.

In a statement to Fox13, a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman said the alleged shooter was on its membership roll but “had not been active in some time”.

Bevan Hurley reports.

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Aldrich is a registered Mormon

Colorado governor calls on ‘evangelising’ state’s red flag laws

Tuesday 22 November 2022 16:30 , Johanna Chisholm

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said in an interview on Monday that the state’s red flag laws, though they’ve been on the books since 2020, isn’t being sufficiently used.

“I think it needs to be really evangelized more and talked about more,” Gov Polis said during an interview on Colorado Matters, CPR reported. “I think that while it has been used a couple hundred times, I think that not everybody knows that it’s on the books.”

“We also have very disparate records of utilizing it from different county sheriffs ... I think everybody should look at their practices and say, ‘Hey, if there’s somebody that we feel is dangerous, that there’s not enough to, you know, take them in and hold them on a criminal charge, can we at least remove access to their weapons?’ There is a way to do that under Colorado law, and I want to make sure people are aware of that and know that.”

Read the full interview here.

DA says charges brought against shooting suspect only preliminary

Tuesday 22 November 2022 15:30 , Johanna Chisholm

The suspect shooter at the Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub over the weekend, that left five dead and at least 19 injured, is currently being held without bond on 10 “arrest only” charges. These charges include five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, according to online court records for Colorado’s El Paso County.

But the state’s district attorney says that those charges are only preliminary and will likely change by the time they are actually filed against 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich.

“There have been reports that charges have been filed. That is not true,” said Michael Allen, Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District Attorney, at a press conference in Colorado Springs on Monday afternoon. “Any case like this, an arrest warrant will be written up that is supported by probable cause affidavit and that will be submitted to a judge for approval of the arrest of a suspect. That has occurred here in this case.”

“Any charges associated with an arrest warrant are only preliminary charges,” he added. “Very customary that final charges may be different than what’s in the arrest affidavit. Typically, there will be more charges than what is listed in the arrest affidavit. So don’t be surprised when you see a different list of charges when we finally file formal charges with the court.”

Tuesday 22 November 2022 15:28 , Oliver O'Connell

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Police probe motive behind suspect’s attack

Tuesday 22 November 2022 14:30 , Johanna Chisholm

The investigation into the Club Q attack in Colorado Springs is in its early stages, but investigators seem to be focused at this point on how the gunman obtained the assault rifle and why he opened fire.

Colorado officials have successfully argued to have all the evidence supporting the charges brought against 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, which includes five counts of murder and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime that caused bodily harm, be sealed. The officials argued that releasing details would jeopardise the ongoing investigation.

Police identify victims ‘by how they identified themselves’

Tuesday 22 November 2022 13:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

In a rare move, the Colorado Springs police department identified the victims of the mass shooting by how they “identified themselves” using their preferred pronouns.

“We respect all of our community members, including our LGBTQ community,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said on Monday.

He added: “Therefore, we will be identifying the victims by how they identified themselves and how their families have loved and identified them.”

Mr Vasquez then read out their names along with their pronouns.

Read more here.

Police make point of identifying Colorado victims ‘by how they identified themselves’

How did the Colorado Springs gunman get his firearms?

Tuesday 22 November 2022 12:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

In June 2021, Anderson Lee Aldrich walked out of the front door of a house in Colorado Springs with his hands in the air after a stand-off with police.

Authorities arrested him for felony menacing and first-degree kidnapping after his mother alleged that he had threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.

Seventeen months later, Mr Aldrich, 22, is in police custody on suspicion of killing five people at an LGBT+ nightclub called Club Q.

What's more, media reports suggest that the weapons wielded during the attack – a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun – were purchased legally.

That was despite various state laws designed to stop dangerous people from getting hold of such weapons.

Io Dodds has more.

How did the Colorado Springs gunman get his firearms despite ‘red flag’ law?

Rage and sadness as Colorado club shooting victims honoured

Tuesday 22 November 2022 11:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Hundreds of people, many holding candles and wiping away tears, gathered Monday night in a Colorado Springs park to honor those killed and wounded when a gunman opened fire on a nightlife venue that for decades was a sanctuary for the local LGBT+ community.

At Monday night’s vigil, people embraced and listened as speakers on a stage expressed both rage and sadness over the shootings.

Jeremiah Harris, who is 24 and gay, said he went to the club a couple times a month and recognized one of the victims as the bartender who always served him.

He said hearing others speak at the vigil was galvanizing following the attack.“Gay people have been here as long as people have been here,” Harris said.

More details here.

Rage and sadness as Colorado club shooting victims honored

Tucker Carlson plays down anti-LGBT+ motive in shooting

Tuesday 22 November 2022 10:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Fox News host Tucker Carlson played down the anti-LGBT+ hate that appears to be behind the mass shooting at a Colorado Springs gay club.

In the wake of the mass shooting, the right-wing news presenter brushed off the gunman’s motive, suggesting that the suspect was “clearly a troubled person”.

“So the most obvious question is why did he shoot 30 people? The truth is we don’t know,” he said during The Tucker Carlson Tonight show on Monday.

Read more here.

Tucker Carlson plays down anti-LGBT+ motive in Colorado mass shooting

Five victims identified in Colorado Springs LGBTQ club attack

Tuesday 22 November 2022 09:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The five victims who lost their lives in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub have been identified.

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.

The shooting sparked renewed calls for stricter gun laws and mourning throughout the LGBT+ community, which has been warning since the start of this year that increasingly violent political rhetoric about LGBT+ people could lead to deaths.

Here is what we know so far about the five victims of the Colorado Springs shooting.

Io Dodds reports.

Who were the people killed in the Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub shooting?

Police chief lists pronouns alongside victims' names

Tuesday 22 November 2022 08:50 , Io Dodds

In his press conference this afternoon, Colorado Springs police chief Adrian Vasquez made a point of listing the victims according to their gender identities, rather than whatever may have been on their official records.

"We respect all of our community members, including our LGBTQ community. Therefore we will be identifying the victims by how they identified themselves, and how their families have loved and identified them," Mr Vasquez said.

He then listed the names of the victims alongside their pronouns.

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Trans people frequently go through life with the wrong gender recorded on their birth certificates, passports, or other government records, often due to high barriers or costs to changing such documents.

'I just started waling away with his gun'

Tuesday 22 November 2022 07:43 , Io Dodds

US army veteran Richard Fierro has given an emotional account of his bravery during the shooting, my colleague Oliver O'Connell reports.

Speaking to John Berman on the network on Monday night, Mr Fierro described what happened when the shooter began firing in Club Q on Saturday night.

He recognised that the shooter, 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich, was wearing a flak vest which has a handle on it and ran across the room, grabbed it, and pulled him to the floor.

Another person helped Mr Fierro bring Mr Aldrich to the ground and he told them to push the AR-15 rifle away.

“I then proceeded to take his other weapon, a pistol, and just started hitting him wherever I could, but the armour was in the way,” said Mr Fierro. “I found a crease between his armour and his head and I just started waling away with his gun.”

Read more about that here.