What we know about the Colorado Springs nightclub shooting suspect
Authorities have named Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, as the lone suspect in the deadly shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday night that left five people dead and at least 25 others injured.
Police recovered a long gun and a handgun from Club Q, a popular gay and lesbian bar in Colorado Springs. The New York Times reported that the suspect fired an AR-15 style rifle and was wearing body armor.
The Colorado Springs mayor said a nightclub patron grabbed the handgun from Aldrich, who was then subdued by at least two patrons.
Police are still trying to piece together a motive and additional details about the suspect, who is being treated for his injuries at a local hospital.
But some information has surfaced about Aldrich.
In June 2021, a man with the same name and age was arrested for making a bomb threat to a suburban neighborhood in southeast Colorado Springs, according to The Gazette, a local newspaper.
Aldrich’s mother told police her son threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons, according to The Gazette.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office evacuated the neighborhood and shut the area down until Aldrich came out of a house he was in.
Aldrich was charged with two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, but the charges were later dropped and the records were sealed.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said all indications were that it was the same person.
The incident raised questions about Colorado’s red flag law, which empowers authorities to temporarily seize firearms from an individual determined as a potential threat to the community.
Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, was living at a home in the Colorado Springs neighborhood until the June 2021 incident, when she was asked to move out, according to The New York Times. Aldrich may have been staying nearby at his grandparent’s house.
Facebook posts shared on Laura Voepel’s page show that Aldrich’s grandfather is Randy Voepel, a Republican state lawmaker in the California State Assembly who compared the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol to the Revolutionary War.
Randy Voepel lost his seat to a challenger in the midterm elections.
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