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Tipsheet

NBC Reporter Stumbles While Trying to Avoid Misgendering Alleged Colorado Nightclub Shooter

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

NBC News correspondent Niala Charles struggled to avoid misgendering the alleged Colorado Springs nightclub shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, during a report on the criminal charges handed down to the biological male. 

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Aldrich was charged with 305 counts after allegedly shooting five people and injuring others at a gay nightclub—Club Q—on Nov. 19, including first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, first and second-degree assault, and bias-related crimes.

The story initially appeared to fit the mainstream media’s preferred narrative about the shooter and his motives until attorneys for Aldrich said he identifies as “non-binary” and uses “they/them” pronouns.  

As Spencer detailed, a footnote in the court filing said, "Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.” 

That led to some confusion during NBC's on-air report. 

“The defense says its client uses ‘they/them’ pronouns, which doesn’t indicate their sexual identity and clearly hasn’t stopped the district attorney with charging them with bias. Prosecutors say there’s a voluminous amount of evidence in this case to support those charges, and as for the penalties, in the state of Colorado, there isn’t a death penalty, so the suspect is looking at a possible life in prison. In court today, the suspect was in a yellow jumpsuit and significantly less bruised than when we saw them in their last court appearance and after two people charged him—them—and prevented them from doing even more damage, hurting even more people.”

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