The suspect who authorities say killed five people and injured many others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday has been released from the hospital and will appear virtually in court on Wednesday.
The suspect, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, was hospitalized by Richard Fierro, a patron of Club Q who police have hailed as a hero for preventing more deaths.
Another patron who intervened was Thomas James, a Navy information systems technician stationed in Colorado Springs. Fierro said a third person also helped and kicked the suspect in the head.
The Colorado Springs Police Department said Tuesday it has turned over custody of the shooting suspect to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the jail.
Aldrich, who was known as Nicholas Brink until 2016, faces murder and hate crime charges. Just before his 16th birthday, he petitioned a Texas court to change his name, saying he wanted to “protect himself” from a father with a criminal history, court records show. A petition for the name change was submitted on Brink’s behalf by his grandparents, who were his legal guardians at the time.
The request for a name change came months after Aldrich was apparently targeted by online bullying. A website posting from June 2015 that attacked a boy named Nick Brink suggests he may have been bullied in high school.
The motive in Saturday’s shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs is still under investigation.
Aldrich was arrested last year after his mother reported he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.
Authorities at the time said no explosives were found, but gun-control advocates have asked why police didn’t use Colorado’s “red flag” laws to seize the weapons his mother says he had.
A law enforcement official said the suspect used an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. A handgun and additional ammunition magazines also were recovered. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.