Army veteran gives account of tackling Colorado Springs gunman
The co-owner of the Colorado Springs gay nightclub where a shooting killed five people and injured 17 has blamed it on a new type of anti-LGBTQ hate spurred by right-wing activists and politicians.
In his first comments since Saturday night’s attack at Club Q, Nic Grzecka told the Associated Press: “Lying about our community, and making them into something they are not, creates a different type of hate.”
A gunman, suspected to be Anderson Lee Aldrich, turned a drag queen’s birthday celebration in Colorado Springs into a massacre after he opened fire just before midnight on Saturday with his AR-15-style rifle and a handgun.
Aldrich, 22, who has not entered a plea or spoken about the incident, wanted to be the “next mass killer” and go out “in a blaze”, according to past arrest records.
He is now facing preliminary charges including five counts of murder along with five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury following a mass shooting inside an LGBT+ nightclub. The suspect will remain jailed without bond.
Booking photos reveal several bruises and other apparent wounds to the suspect’s face and neck.
Records suggest Colorado Springs suspect wanted to ‘go out in a blaze’
According to arrest records in an unrelated bomb threat case in 2021, investigators believed that the suspected mass shooter in the Club Q attack told family members they wanted to carry out a mass shooting or bombing and “go out in a blaze.”
The then 21-year-old allegedly made “homicidal threats” to their grandparents when they announced plans to sell their house and move to Florida in 2021, according to court records.
They also said the move would mess with their plans to build a bomb, a scheme referenced in court papers, where investigators requested a search warrant to look for weapons and explosives to “prevent a reported planned terrorism attack,” according to records reportedly obtained by KKTV.
At a previous family meeting about the move, the outlet reports, Aldrich allegedly drew a loaded gun and claimed “you guys die today.”
Alex Woodward25 November 2022 06:00
These are the five people who were killed in the Club Q attack
Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green have been identified as the five victims of the mass shooting inside Club Q.
Alex Woodward25 November 2022 05:00
Ex-Trump lawyer says Colorado Springs victims are ‘reaping the consequences of having eternal damnation’
A former legal adviser to Donald Trump alleged that the five people who were killed inside Club Q gave “no evidence at all that they were Christians” and that they “are now reaping the consequences of having eternal damnation.”
“And that is far, far greater – we should be having that conversation,” she added. “Instead of just the tragedy of what happened to the body, we need to be talking about what happened to the soul and the fact that they are now in eternal separation from our lord and savior Jesus Christ.”
Jenna Ellis’s remarks come as right-wing media commentary and far-right influencers continue to amplify inflammatory anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric after a mass shooting killed five inside an LGBT+ nightclub:
Alex Woodward25 November 2022 04:00
Co-owner of gay nightclub blames shooting on new ‘type of hate’
Nic Grzecka, co-owner of the Colorado Springs gay nightclub where a shooter killed five people, has blamed it on right-wing activists and politicians creating a new type of hate.
Speaking to the Associated Press in the first comments since Saturday night’s attack at Club Q, Grzecka said the targeting of a drag queen event is connected to the art form being cast in a false light in recent months by right-wing activists and politicians who complain about the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children.
“Lying about our community, and making them into something they are not, creates a different type of hate,” said Grzecka.
Even though general acceptance of the LGBTQ community has grown, this new dynamic has fostered a dangerous climate, he added.
Shweta Sharma25 November 2022 03:42
Joe Biden condemns AR-15 purchases and says he is ‘going to try’ to round up votes for assault weapons ban
Speaking to reporters in Nantucket where Joe Biden is celebrating Thanksgiving with his family, the president said “the idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick.”
“Just sick,” he added. “It has no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”
Asked whether his administration can advance any additional gun reform measures within the next two years, with Republicans holding a slim majority in the House of Representatives and Democrats holding the Senate, the president said he is “going to try.”
“I’m going to try to get rid of assault weapons,” he added. “I’m going to do it whenever – I’ve got to make that assessment as I get in and start counting votes.”
Within the last week, following shootings in Colorado and Virginia, the president has twice called on Congress to renew a federal assault weapons ban, targeting weapons like AR-style rifles that are repeatedly used in mass shooting attacks. The ban expired in 2004.
Revisit his statement in the wake of the Club Q attack:
Alex Woodward25 November 2022 03:00
‘The terrible hypocrisy of Lauren Boebert’s ‘thoughts and prayers’ after Colorado Springs’
“In an increasingly hostile atmosphere stoked by divisive politicians, this latest violent attack will sadly not be the last,” Skylar Baker-Jordan writes for Voices:
Alex Woodward25 November 2022 01:00
Sheriff’s office in county where deadly LGBT+ club shooting took place has never used ‘red flag’ law
A 2019 bill that allows judges in Colorado to prevent people who pose a “significant risk” to themselves or others passed the state legislature without a single Republican vote in support.
The so-called “red flag” law was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis, marking one of the most significant gun reform measures passed by state lawmakers in the years after a 2012 mass shooting inside a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.
But the sheriff’s office in the county where a deadly shooting at an LGBT+ club this week left five people dead, officers have not used the law once.
The 2019 law faced overwhelming opposition from not only GOP lawmakers but also sheriff’s offices across the state – including in El Paso County, where five people were fatally shot and 18 others were injured inside a Colorado Springs LGBT+ club on November 19.
One year earlier, the suspect accused of immediately opening fire into the club that night was arrested on felony menacing and kidnapping charges, which were later dropped.
Not only did the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office not pursue an order to seize firearms from the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich — the county has never once initiated a seizure.
Alex Woodward25 November 2022 00:00
Colorado Springs mass shooting suspect and mother accused of using racist slurs during July flight
A suspect accused of killing five people inside an LGBT+ nightclub and the suspect’s mother allegedly used racist slurs towards a Hispanic family and a Black man during a flight to Denver in July.
A cell phone video from an airline passenger obtained by local news outlet KDVR Fox 31 appears to show mass shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich and Aldrich’s mother Laura Voepel during an airport confrontation on July 31.
Maria Martinez told the outlet that she began filming after Aldrich used a racist slur towards her as they left the plane.
As she continued to film them, a person believed to be Aldrich tells her: “You keep following me and I’m going to f*** you up.”
Alex Woodward24 November 2022 23:00
Who is Aaron Brink?
An interview with the father of the suspect accused of killing five people inside an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs has received significant international attention, after Aaron Brink appeared to express relief that his child is not gay and apologized to the families of the victims.
Mr. Brink said Anderson Lee Aldrich was born in San Diego in 2000 at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women.
Aldrich changed their name following their father’s controversial appearance on the reality TV program Intervention as well as Mr. Brink’s acting career in several adult films.
Mr. Brink said he currently works as a mixed martial arts coach; he said he taught his child how to fight.
He also said that he is a Mormon; a spokesperson for the Church of Latter Day Saints recently confirmed that Aldrich also is on the membership rolls.
Father of Colorado Springs shooting suspect speaks out
Mr. Brink said he believed his child was dead until he received an unexpected phone call six months ago; they argued over the phone, he said.
“I thought he was dead,” Mr. Brink said. “I mourned his loss. I had gone through a meltdown and thought I had lost my son … His mother told me he changed his name because I was in Intervention and I had been a porno actor.”
An affidavit in Texas days before Aldrich turned 16 years old indicated that they wished to change their name and “protect himself + his future from his birth father + his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years.”
Alex Woodward24 November 2022 22:00
Aldrich listed as male in booking records and day-of texts from mother refer to suspect as ‘him’
Defense attorneys for Club Q mass shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich left footnotes in legal filings this week to explain why Aldish is named “Mx. Aldrich” in the document.
The footnotes from the public defenders representing Aldrich claim that the suspect is “non-binary” and uses “they/them pronouns”.
Booking records list Aldrich as male. Text messages from the day of the shooting also show that Aldrich’s mother referred to her child as he and him.
At a news conference outside the courthouse on Wednesday, District Attorney Michael Allen said the suspect’s gender identity would not affect the case or influence whether he seeks hate crime charges.
“I’m looking at evidence,” he said. “That’s what we look at when we make filing decisions.”
Kristen Prata Browde, a co-chair of the National Trans Bar Association, told The New York Times that a suspect’s gender identity does not have bearing on whether prosecutors can seek such a charge in this case.
“The motive for a crime isn’t dependent on whether you are or are not a member of a protected class,” she said. “It legally has no significance, as far as whether the actions of this individual fit within the law regarding hate crimes.”
Alex Woodward24 November 2022 21:30