(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — In preliminary hearings aimed at determining whether the case is strong enough against Club Q shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich to stand trial, an investigator cited evidence she says pointed to links between Aldrich and hateful rhetoric.
The suspect accused of killing five people — Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, Tara Bush — in the mass shooting at the Colorado Springs bar, faces 323 charges, including first-degree murder, attempted murder and bias-motivated crimes.
At least 19 people were also injured.
Aldrich, who allegedly opened fire in a Colorado LGBTQ bar in November 2022, is believed to have run a website that hosted a “neo Nazi white supremacist” shooting training video, according to testimony from Lead Detective Rebecca Joines on Wednesday. The investigator said they administered and ran it.
Joines also said that Aldrich used gay and racial slurs when playing video games online.
Aldrich is nonbinary, according to court filings released by the Colorado state public defender.
According to Joines, Aldrich visited the LGBTQ nightclub six times prior to the shooting and added that their mother allegedly forced them to visit gay nightclubs.
On the night of the tragedy, investigators and witnesses said the suspect allegedly opened fire as soon as they walked into Club Q at about midnight on Nov. 19. Patrons at the venue tackled Aldrich, subduing the suspect until police arrived, according to witnesses.
The defense focused on Aldrich’s background of drug use and claimed they suffered abuse at home to counter the messaging that Aldrich was motivated by hate.
While being questioned in the hospital after the shooting, Aldrich told Joines they were on fentanyl, meth, cocaine, Xanax, and coming down off prior heroin use.
The judge found that the evidence is strong enough for Aldrich to stand trial under the existing charges.
Prosecutor Michael Allen said it was too early to determine whether the defense would pursue a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity – a topic that was discussed at the hearing and will be revisited at the May 30th court date.
Aldrich will continue to be held without bond. Their arraignment is scheduled for May 30 at 3 p.m. local time.
The defense has not openly commented on the case, as per Office of the State Public Defender policies.
ABC News’ Icsel Alvarez contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.