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Gunman Charged With Murder, Hate Crimes After Rampage At Gay Nightclub Identifies As Nonbinary

Colorado Springs, CO – Court records revealed that the killer allegedly responsible for the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs last weekend has been with charged five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a hate crime, despite the fact they identify as “nonbinary.”

The gunman’s father told reporters that until recently, he thought his son was dead, according to NBC News.

Police records showed that 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich was arrested in June of 2021 after he threatened his mother with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition.”

Video obtained by CNN showed Aldrich ranting about police and challenging them to try and breach the home.

“I’ve got the f-king s-theads outside, look at that, they’ve got a bead on me,” Aldrich said in the video, pointing the camera at the window.

“You see that right there?” he asked. “F-king sh-theads got their f–king rifles out.”

“If they breach, Imma f-king blow it to holy hell,” the future mass killer warned in the video, according to CNN.

The video inside the house showed Aldrich challenging police to come and get him.

“So, uh, go ahead and come on in, boys! Let’s f-king see it!” he said.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said its crisis negotiation unit responded to the residence and, after several hours, was able to get the suspect to leave the house, CNN reported.

Surveillance video from the front of the home showed Aldrich surrendering to law enforcement officers with his hands in the air.

Authorities searched the residence and did not find a bomb but it was unclear whether deputies found any weapons belonging to Aldrich inside the home.

Deputies arrested Aldrich at the scene on two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping and booked him into the El Paso County Jail, CNN reported.

However, the district attorney’s office never pursued any formal charges against Aldrich in connection with the threats or the standoff.

Prosecutors have not given a reason for why the case was not pursued.

Law enforcement sources said that Aldrich purchased the handgun and the AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle that he brought to Club Q on Nov. 19 but it was unclear whether those purchases had been made before the 2021 arrest, CNN reported.

Because the case involving the bomb threat and standoff was never adjudicated, the charges were dropped and the records were sealed.

It was unclear why the records were sealed.

But, as a result of that, no information about the 2021 bomb threat would have shown up on a federal background check to purchase a weapon, CNN reported.

And that wasn’t the only thing that may have convoluted the gunman’s background check.

Aldrich was born Nicholas Franklin Brink in San Antonio, Texas but legally changed his name with the support of his grandparents before he turned 16, NBC News reported.

His petition said the teen wanted “to protect himself and his future from any connections to birth father and his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years.”

Aldrich’s birth father, Aaron Brink, was a former MMA fighter who later starred in pornographic movies, NBC News reported.

Aaron Brink also appeared on an episode of “Intervention” and was an admitted methamphetamine addict.

Court records showed his parents separated when he was tiny and his mother, Laura Voepel, was arrested for arson when Aldrich was 12 years old.

Voepel was ultimately found guilty of a lesser-but-related offense, The Washington Post reported.

Aaron Brink said Voepel told him their son had died in 2016.

He said he only found out that his son was alive about six months ago when Aldrich called him, NBC News reported.

Aaron Brink said he and his son argued.

In a court on Nov. 22, attorneys for the mass shooter referred to their client as “Mx. Aldrich,” and noted the defendant was nonbinary and preferred they/them pronouns, NBC News reported.

Family members said they found that claim surprising given anti-gay comments they had heard Aldrich make.

The first 911 call to police from terrified patrons reporting the active shooter inside Club Q occurred at about 11:57 p.m. on Nov. 19, the Associated Press reported.

Some customers were able to flee through exit doors, but many were trapped inside the nightclub.

Five people were killed and 19 more were wounded before two brave patrons inside the bar rushed the gunman, took his weapon, and beat him up with it, KRDO reported.

Colorado Springs police said the first officer to respond to the mass shooting at the nightclub located in the 3400-block of North Academy Boulevard arrived on the scene at exactly midnight, three minutes after the first 911 call was received.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said the brave patrons who intervened and disarmed the mass shooter saved countless lives, the Associated Press reported.

Officers took the shooter into custody at 12:02 a.m., KRDO reported.

The gunman was held without bond during a virtual court hearing on Nov. 25.

Aldrich is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 5, CNN reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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