Anderson Lee Aldrich Colorado Springs man id as gunman who shot 5 dead and injured 25 at Club Q gay nightclub. Hate crime attack? Suspect has prior criminal record and is the grandson of Republican GOP Randy Voepel who once praised the Jan 6 Capitol Hill riots.
Five people were killed and 25 others injured in a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub on Saturday in Colorado Springs, after a lone gunman with two fire arms, including a long rifle entered the gay nightclub and proceeded to indiscriminately shoot at patrons.
Anderson Lee Aldrich 22 was identified as the perpetrator at the Club Q venue during a Sunday press conference by Colorado Springs PD Chief Adrian Vasquez.
Two club patrons at the venue were able to subdue the gunman until responding police were able to arrive at the scene and take the man into custody. Two of the five fatalities were later identified as bartenders at the venue, Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston. Of note, Aston, 28, was a trans man.
The shooting is likely to be investigated as a hate crime authorities indicated. Nevertheless police declined to say what motivated the Saturday night attack.
Authorities received numerous 911 calls starting at 11:57 p.m. and responded to the scene at Club Q, said Colorado Springs Police Lt. Pamela Castro during Sunday’s press conference.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, the Colorado Springs shooter threatened his mother with a homemade bomb and other weapons in 2021.
He was still allowed to buy/own an AR-15 because Trump rolled back the mental health bill which may have prevented this.
— RocknRollDem (@Soxfan311) November 20, 2022
Prior criminal record
‘They did locate one individual who we believe to be the suspect inside,’ said Castro. ‘At this point in time, the suspect is being treated, but is in custody.’
Of note, Aldrich has a previous criminal record.
A report in June of 2021 via KRDO identified Aldrich as a suspect who had made a bomb threat at a Colorado Springs Lorson Ranch suburban location believed to be the family home. A bomb squad at the time failed to find any detonations, with Aldrich upon his surrender facing two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping.
A subsequent report by the Gazette told of no formal charges being pursued against Aldridich, with the case sealed, according to the DA’s office. The El Paso County district attorney declined to comment on why the case was dropped.
A report via Heavy told of Aldrich being the grandson of outgoing Republican State Assembly member Randy Voepel, the former mayor of Santee, California. Voepel represents the 71st district in the San Diego area.
There were calls to expel Voepel from the state Assembly after he made comments comparing the January 6 Capitol Hill attacks to the Revolutionary War. Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, went on to share posts on Facebook praising Randy Voepel and confirming he is her father.
Despite the gunman having no social media profiles, Facebook posts made by his mother reveal Aldrich had been dealing with mental health issues. It remained unclear if Aldrich was put on a register that may have prevented him from acquiring firearms.
Colorado Springs shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich is the grandson of Republican State Assemblymember Randy Voepel.
Voepel represents the 71st district in the San Diego area.
Voepel previously made comments comparing the January 6 attacks to the Revolutionary War. pic.twitter.com/z9F1FMLLfU
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) November 21, 2022
Colorado previous history of mass gun violence
In a statement on Facebook, Club Q said it was ‘devastated by the senseless attack on our community’ and thanked ‘the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.’
The location of the shooting is reminiscent of the 2016 attack at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which a gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and wounded at least 53. During questioning, the self avowed militant Muslim man who had pledged allegiance to ISIS admitted ‘becoming angry’ when he saw two men kiss.
Club Q posted earlier in the day that its Saturday night lineup would feature a punk and alternative show at 9 p.m. followed by a dance party at 11. The club also planned to hold a drag brunch and a drag show on Sunday for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The club’s website now says it will be closed until further notice.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the nation’s first openly gay governor, issued a statement calling the attack ‘horrific, sickening and devastating’ and offered state resources to local law enforcement.
‘We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting,’ he said. ‘Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.’