The man suspected of carrying out the horrific shooting inside a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub over the weekend appears to have also been arrested last summer following an alleged bomb threat and long standoff with law enforcement.
Officials said Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, opened fire inside the Club Q nightclub just before midnight Saturday, killing five and wounding at least 25, before “heroic” patrons stopped the gunman.
Another club-goer reportedly helped to keep the gunman pinned down until police arrived.
Mayor Suthers described the intervention of several club-goers as an “incredible act of heroism”.
“The call came to the police at 11:57 pm. Police were on the scene by 12:00 – an amazingly quick response,” he told CNN.
“This incident was over by 12:02, and that’s large because of the intervention of at least one, possibly two, very heroic individuals who subdued this guy… appears to have taken his handgun with them… and used it to disable him… not shoot but hit him with the gun, and disable him.
“But for that, as tragic as this incident is… it could have been much, much worse but for these heroic actors,” the mayor added.
Praise also came from the governor of Colorado, as well as the owner of the club – who noted “dozens and dozens of lives” had been saved.
Little has been confirmed about Aldrich or his motives as of Sunday afternoon, but officials have said they are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Heavy decided to investigate more and they finally manage to connect the shooter to the MAGA movement.
The Colorado shooting suspect may be the grandson of a Republican state legislator who praised the Capitol riot, according to public records and social media posts seen by Defiant America.
A man with the same name and age as the suspect – 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich – is listed as having lived at the same address as 45-year-old Laura Voepel, who was identified by The New York Times as his mother.
Ms. Voepel, in turn, is listed as a relative of California assemblyman Randy Voepel, 72, who said of the Capitol riot: “This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny.”
In a string of Facebook posts first reported by the breaking news website Heavy, a person by the name of Laura Voepel referred to Randy Vopel as “Dad” and “my father”, at one point telling him to “keep up the good work”.
Other Facebook posts by Ms. Voepel describe her buying a military camouflage suit for her son’s 15th birthday; asking for recommendations for a boxing coach; seeking a trauma and PTSD therapist seemingly for her son; and, after the 2021 bomb threat incident, asking if anyone knew a “fantastic defence attorney” who could help the family out.
Randy Voepel’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Phone numbers listed as belonging to Ms Voepel were either out of service or did not pick up.
President Joe Biden said Americans “cannot and must not tolerate hate”.
“Places that are supposed to be safe spaces of acceptance and celebration should never be turned into places of terror and violence. Yet it happens far too often,” he said in a statement from the White House.
He also called for a ban on assault weapons!
But how Aldrich got his weapon is a real mystery if we consider the fact that Aldrich was arrested in 2021 after his mother reported to police he was threatening to harm her with a homemade bomb and multiple weapons, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.
He was arrested after a standoff and charged with five felonies. But he was not prosecuted, records show. The El Paso County district attorney has not commented on why the case was dropped.
Facebook posts made by his mother reveal he had been dealing with mental health issues. She posted often about her son in a Facebook group for women involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Colorado Springs area. In one post in July 2021, she asked for help finding a criminal defense attorney.
“Hello Sisters. Does anyone know of a fantastic defense attorney? I ask this with a heavy heart but my family really needs some help at this time. We have cash to retain good counsel. Thank you,” she wrote days after Aldrich’s arrest.
In February 2022, she wrote, “Hello Sisters. Can anyone please recommend a great trauma/ptsd therapist?” and indicated it was for a 21-year-old, which Aldrich was at the time.