The Club Q shooting suspect appeared to have bruises on their face and difficulty speaking during a brief appearance in court

A bouquet of flowers is left near Club Q
A bouquet of flowers is left near Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 20, 2022.(Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP)
  • The Colorado Springs Club Q mass shooting suspect appeared briefly in court on Wednesday.

  • They seemed to have bruises on their face and appeared to have difficulty speaking to the judge.

  • Patrons of the nightclub said they tackled and stomped on the gunman when the shooting unfolded.

The 22-year-old suspect accused of killing five people during a Saturday night mass shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub briefly appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday — and appeared to be battered and bruised.

In a virtual hearing that lasted only a few minutes, the suspect could be seen with apparent bruises on their face and appeared to have difficulty speaking to El Paso County Judge Charlotte Ankeny, who asked the defendant to identify themselves.

Ankeny asked the defendant, who also appeared to be wearing an orange vest and sat in a chair slumped to their right, to state their name.

After a brief pause, one of the defense attorneys placed his hand on the defendant, who then mumbled their name softly. Defense attorneys in a court filing on Tuesday night said the shooting suspect identifies as non-binary and uses "they/them" pronouns.

When asked by Ankeny if they had watched a video regarding their constitutional rights for the case, the defendant, whose hands were cuffed, quietly responded.

After another pause, the defendant appeared to struggle to say: "No."

Patrons who were inside Club Q when the shooting spree began on Saturday night said they tackled, stomped on, and beat up the shooter.

Booking photos shared by the Colorado Springs Police Department on Wednesday showed the suspect's face and neck covered in purple bruises.

In addition to the five fatalities, 25 people were also left injured from Saturday's mass shooting, and the suspect was arrested on suspicion of hate crime and first-degree murder charges, though no charges have formally been filed.

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