Colorado and Virginia: Non-binary person and supermarket worker responsible for shooting at LGBTQ nightclub and supermarket

The person suspected of opening fire at a Colorado nightclub popular with gay, lesbian and trans communities has made his first appearance in court via video link.

Colorado and Virginia: Non-binary person and supermarket worker responsible for shooting at LGBTQ nightclub and supermarket

The person suspected of opening fire at a Colorado nightclub popular with gay, lesbian and trans communities has made his first appearance in court via video link. At the appointment in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, the judge ordered A. to remain in custody without bail, as reported by US media. The next hearing is scheduled for December 6th. It is expected that the final charges will then be known.

The defense attorneys stated that A. was non-binary - meaning that he did not clearly define himself as male or female. A. wants with "Mx. A." are addressed, a footnote in the court filing said, preferring the pronouns "they/them". A. sat slumped in a chair during the hearing, as seen on video. It is still unclear whether A. will also have to answer for hate crimes in court - so far this has been listed as a preliminary charge.

According to the police, A. (22) entered the club with an assault rifle and a handgun and immediately opened fire. According to the police, two people present in the club intervened and stopped A.. There was initially no official information about the motive for the crime. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said he found it hard to imagine a motive other than hate.

Prosecutor Michael Allen emphasized that A.'s gender identity does not change anything. "It has no bearing on how I am pursuing this case," Allen was quoted as saying by CNN. "I want them to know that we will be the voice of the victims in the courtroom and that we will fight alongside them throughout the process," he said, referring to the family.

More is also known about the perpetrator from the city of Chesapeake in the state of Virginia. The man who shot six people in a Walmart supermarket just before the Thanksgiving holiday is an employee. The attacker, who was armed with a pistol, injured at least four other people before taking his own life, Police Chief Mark Solesky said on Wednesday. The 31-year-old died from a "self-inflicted gunshot wound."

The motive for the bloody deed on Tuesday evening was initially unclear. The attacker, identified by authorities as Andre Bing, had worked for the supermarket giant since 2010, according to Walmart. The 31-year-old, who lives in Chesapeake south of the city of Norfolk, was the "night team leader".

Walmart employee Briana Tyler told ABC that the shooter opened fire in the supermarket's break room. "I've seen a lot of people fall to the ground trying to run for cover or getting hit." The attacker said "not a word" during the attack. "He wasn't aiming at anyone in particular."

In the United States, there are repeated firearm attacks with many deaths. A week and a half earlier, a student at a Virginia university shot dead three fellow students. According to the Gun Violence Archive website, there have been more than 600 incidents this year in which at least four people have been injured or killed by firearms. Supermarkets are always the scene of attacks, as last May when an 18-year-old shot dead ten people in a racially motivated attack in Buffalo, New York.

Gun law is one of the most contentious issues in the United States. In recent decades, the conservative Republicans have repeatedly prevented significant tightening of gun laws at federal level. After the bloodbath at an elementary school in the small Texas town of Uvalde in May, in which an 18-year-old shot 19 children and two teachers, Congress was only able to agree on a slight tightening of the law.

President Biden said on Wednesday that while the tightening of the law was "the most significant gun control reform in a generation, it was not nearly enough." More needs to be done, Biden said, without going into specifics. The President has long called for a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles - but without success.

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