Four days after the mass shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub, the suspected shooter made a first appearance in court.
A video monitor in the courtroom showed Anderson Lee Aldrich in a wheelchair, slumped to one side.
Aldrich will be held without bond until another court appearance in December.
Hours before the hearing, the suspect was still in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained after being beaten by patrons at Club Q who tackled and beat them.
Hours before Wednesday’s hearing, defense attorneys announced the suspect is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.
“In every single murder case that I’ve prosecuted, which have been more than I would care to talk about, I refer to every one of those as defendants. And that’s what I will do in this case. It has no impact on how I prosecute this case," said Michael Allen, District Attorney for Colorado’s 4th Judicial District.
A motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but the suspect is facing murder and hate crime charges in the attack that left 5 people dead.
Prosecutors have yet to formally file charges, but those are expected in the coming days. And legal experts expect more charges will be added.
"Every single person who was there at Club Q is a victim of one crime or another," said Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General. "The role of the criminal justice system here is going to be: honor all those victims. Every single charge that will be added will represent someone who suffered."
In the meantime, the Colorado Springs community is deep in mourning of a shattered safe haven.
In the wake of this terrible tragedy, it’s important to remember anyone can experience signs or symptoms of trauma. Experts are encouraging people to reach out for help, whether you live in Colorado Springs, or elsewhere.
Dozens of local therapists are offering free and reduced services for those affected by the shooting.
Colorado Crisis Services, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Inside Out Youth Services and The Trevor Project are all ready to help anyone who needs it.