THE suspected Colorado nightclub shooter had a dark past, which was partially hidden after he reportedly had his name changed.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, allegedly went on a shooting spree at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Saturday night, minutes before the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
He is suspected of killing five people and injuring at least 18 others before he was taken down by two people at the club – Army veteran Richard M. Fierro and Thomas James.
Fierro recounted to the New York Times: “I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode.”
“I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
In a shocking discovery, Aldrich was born as Nicholas Franklin Brink, but had his name changed in 2016, shortly before his 16th birthday, The Washington Post reported.
According to The Acesparks Post, Aldrich’s family wrote that the teen requested the change “to protect himself and his future from any connections to his birth father. [sic] and his criminal history. Father has had no contact with [Aldrich] for several years.”
Aldrich was living in San Antonio, Texas at the time.
His grandparents, who were reportedly his legal guardians, signed the petition authorizing the name change, according to the outlet.
The Acesparks Post also said that Aldrich’s father, Aaron Brink, and his mother, Laura Voepel, signed the petition as well.
Since Aldrich’s arrest for the shooting, several outlets have also reported that the alleged gunman threatened his mother with a homemade bomb last year.
In June 2021, a suspect with the same name was arrested following a bomb scare.
Video obtained by Acesparks and AP shows a terrifying stand off between Aldrich and the cops.
The footage shows Aldrich arriving at his mom’s front door with a big black bag, telling her the police were nearby and adding: “This is where I stand. Today I die.”
Two squad cars and what appears to be a bomb squad vehicle later pull up to the house, and a barefoot Aldrich emerges with his hands up.
“I’ve got the f***ing sh**heads outside, look at that, they’ve got a bead on me,” Aldrich said.
“You see that right there? F***ing sh**heads got their f***ing rifles out.”
“If they breach, I’mma f***ing blow it to holy hell,” Aldrich threatened, as he walked in and out of a bedroom.
“So, uh, go ahead and come on in, boys! Let’s f***ing see it!”
Police said they received a call from a mom, who said her son was “threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.”
The mom was not home at the time – and police had to evacuate ten homes in the area.
Aldrich ultimately surrendered to cops and was charged with two counts of felony menacing, and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, police said.
The county sheriff’s office at the time said no explosives were found in the house – but did not mention whether any weapons were recovered.
No formal charges were pursued against Aldrich, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
FAMOUS FAMILY MEMBER
Aldrich is reportedly related to Republican California state assembly member Randy Voepel.
Social media posts under Aldrich’s mother’s name, Laura Voepel, viewed by The US Sun appear to confirm the connection.
“Keep up the work Dad~~ You work hard to improve our lives and a lot of us take notice,” Laura wrote in an April 2020 post.
“For my off-road friends! My Dad is all for recreational vehicles. Go Randy,” a 2017 post read.
The Republican is a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and vocally supported the January 6 riots at the Capitol in Washington DC last year.
At the time, the state assembly member told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the insurrection was similar to the American Revolutionary War.
“This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny,” Voepel said days after the riot.
The victims identified in Saturday’s shooting are Ashley Laugh, 35, a mother who helped foster children find homes; Daniel Aston, 28, a bartender and entertainer who worked at the club; and Kelly Loving, 40, who was described by her sister as “caring and sweet.”
Along with, Derrick Rump, 38, who also worked as a bartender, known for his quick wit and Raymond Green Vance, 22, who was said to be adored by his family and had recently gotten a job at FedEx in hopes of saving up for his own apartment.
Aldrich now faces five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury in connection to the shooting.
Credit : www.the-sun.com