Science

Records show suspect in deadly mass shooting at Colorado gay nightclub changed his name as teen after alleged bullying

Suspect in mass shooting of 22 people According to public records, a Colorado gay nightclub sought to change its name more than six years ago. The request comes months after he was apparently the target of online bullying.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, who faces murder and hate crime charges, was known as Nicholas Brink until 2016. Records show that just before her 16th birthday, she petitioned a Texas court to change her name.

Online court documents gave no official reason for the name change, which was first reported by The Washington Post. The post said the paperwork was signed by his grandparents.

Months ago, when he was 15, a website containing photos of Brink ridiculed him, The Post reports. Additionally, a YouTube account was opened in his name which included an animation titled “Asian lesbians molested”.

A petition for the name change was later filed in Bexar County, Texas, records show.

motive in Five people were killed in Saturday’s firing Club Q in Colorado Springs was still under investigation.

colorado springs shooting
Noah Reich, left, and David Maldonado, co-founders of the Los Angeles-based Classroom of Compassion, stand at a memorial with photos of five victims of the weekend mass shooting at a nearby gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Nov. 22, 2022. ,

David Zalubowski/AP


The suspect, who was hospitalized on Tuesday, was beaten by bar patrons during the attack and 17 others suffered gunshot wounds. Aldrich faces five counts of murder and five counts of committing a crime motivated by a bias causing bodily injury, online court records showed.

Hundreds of people, many holding candles and wiping away tears, gathered Monday evening in Colorado Springs Park to honor victims of an attack at a nightlife venue that for decades was a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community in the conservative city of about 480,000 in the 70s . miles south of Denver.

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

Harris said, “Gay people have been here as long as people have been here.” “To everyone who’s protesting this… We’re not going anywhere. We’re just getting louder, and you have to deal with it.”

Hate crime charges would require proving that the gunman was motivated by prejudice, such as against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The charges against Aldrich are preliminary, and prosecutors have yet to file formal charges in court.

Court documents related to Aldrich’s arrest have been sealed at the request of prosecutors. It was not immediately available whether Aldrich had an attorney.

Citing the ongoing investigation, local and federal officials declined to answer questions Monday about why hate crime charges were being considered. District Attorney Michael Allen said the murder charges carry the harshest penalties — life in prison — while the prejudicial offenses are eligible for probation.

“But it’s important to let the community know that we do not tolerate bias-motivated crimes in this community, that we support communities that have been stigmatized, harassed and bullied,” Allen said. Additional charges are possible.

More details emerged on Monday about those killed and those who stopped the shooting.

Officials said the attack was stopped Two club patrons including Richard Fierrowho told reporters that he took a handgun from Aldrich, hit him with it and knocked him down with the help of another man.


Veteran who helped bring down Colorado Springs nightclub shooter speaks out as community mourns

05:35

Fierro, a former army major who now owns a local brewery, said he was celebrating a birthday with family members when the suspect “came into crossfire.” Fierro said he ran over the suspect, who was wearing some type of body armor, and pulled him down before severely beating him until police arrived.

Fierro said he did not know whether the suspect spoke to him when he subdued him.

Fierro said, “I was cursing at him, I don’t care what he said to me. I’m going to see that guy in court, and he’s going to see who did it.”

Although his actions saved lives, Fierro said the deaths, including that of his daughter’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, were a tragedy for him personally and for the wider community.

“There are five people I couldn’t help but one of whom was family to me,” he said.

Vance’s family said in a statement that the Colorado Springs native was loved by his family and recently had a job at FedEx, where he hopes to save enough money to get his own apartment.

The other victims were identified by authorities and family members as Ashley Paugh, 35, a mother who helped find homes for foster children; Daniel Aston, 28, who worked as a bartender and entertainer at the club; Kelly Loving, 40, whose sister described her as “caring and sweet”; and Derrick Rump, 38, another club bartender known for his quick wit and adopting his friends as his own family.


Police identify victims of Colorado nightclub shooting

04:30

A second man, identified by police as Thomas James, also helped subdue the shooter, but he has yet to speak publicly. Fierro said a third person also helped – a performer at the club who said Fierro kicked the suspect in the head.

A law enforcement official said the suspect used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. A pistol and a magazine of spare cartridges have also been recovered. The officials could not publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The attack raised questions about why authorities did not try to take Aldrich’s guns away from him in 2021, when he was arrested after his mother reported that he had threatened her with homemade bombs and other weapons.

Although officials at the time said no explosives were found, gun control advocates have asked why police did not use Colorado’s “red flag” laws to seize the weapons his mother says he had. was. No public records prosecutor ever came forward with felony kidnapping and racketeering charges against Aldrich.

Speaking to “CBS Morning” on Monday, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez Told He was sad about the shooting.

“It’s sad, and it seems like an evil person has come into this community and done something terrible,” Vasquez said.

The nightclub attack was the sixth mass killing this month, and it came in a year when the nation was rocked by the death of 21 people at a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It also brought back memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 dead.

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