Colorado Gay Bar Shooting Suspect Identifies as ‘Nonbinary,’ Lawyers Say

The suspect accused of shooting five people and injuring more than a dozen others at a gay bar in Colorado Springs identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, the alleged shooter’s public defenders said in a court filing on Tuesday.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is facing five charges of murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime causing bodily harm and is slated to appear in court via video link from jail on Wednesday. 

The revelation that Aldrich identifies as nonbinary comes after a number of politicians, activists, and pundits suggested the shooting was driven by right-wing rhetoric.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attributed the shooting to the Right’s “anti-LGBT+ campaign,” writing: “Connect the dots, @GOP.”

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“The attack on a gay-oriented nightspot immediately raised worries about any connection to the country’s corrosive cultural conflicts,” the Washington Post reported. “The shooting took place during Transgender Awareness Week, in a place of sharp political division, a city that is home to prominent socially conservative and evangelical Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family.”

Reporters blamed everyone from Libs of TikTok to Tucker Carlson for the shooting.

Equality Florida press secretary Brandon Wolf told MSNBC that “right wing grifters, including politicians like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, they’ve been spewing this vile, hateful rhetoric about LGBTQ people…and we warned them that inevitably this would result in violence.”

Meanwhile, the shooting was not Aldrich’s first brush with law enforcement. The shooter was arrested in June 2021 for making a bomb threat, according to an El Paso County press release.

“The reporting party said her son [Aldrich] was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition,” the police statement reads.

Police evacuated ten nearby homes and sent out “an emergency text notification” to houses within a quarter-mile radius notifying residents of the situation.

A negotiation unit convinced Aldrich to leave the house. Explosive experts conducted a search of the property but were unable to find and “explosive devices.”

While Aldrich was booked on two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, the charges were eventually dropped. It was not immediately clear why, Reuters reported.

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