Colorado Springs, CO – Authorities are investigating how the Club Q gunman evaded Colorado’s “red flag” laws and obtained the weapon he used to kill five people and wound many more after he triggered a standoff with law enforcement just last year (video below).
Public records showed the 22-year-old gunman – now legally known as Anderson Lee Aldrich – was born Nicholas Brink and grew up in San Antonio, Texas, The Washington Post reported.
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.
Aldrich, then still Brink, was the targeted of a vicious online bullying campaign when he was 15.
A YouTube account was created in his name that featured a crude, profanity-laden animation under the title, “Asian homosexual gets molested,” according to The Washington Post.
Court records showed he petitioned to legally change his name to Anderson Lee Aldrich before his 16th birthday with the support of his grandparents on the paperwork.
In June of 2021, police responded to the home where Aldrich’s mother lived after she called police claiming he threatened her with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition,” the Denver Post reported.
Aldrich was arrested after a brief standoff with authorities that was captured on surveillance video and resulted in the evacuation of a Colorado Springs neighborhood where his mother lived, The Washington Post reported.
He was arrested and charged with kidnapping and felony menacing.
However, Aldrich was never prosecuted, The Washington Post reported.
The reason behind prosecutors’ decision not to charge the 22 year old was unclear.
Authorities did not find a bomb at the residence where Aldrich made the threats, The Washington Post reported.
Seventeen months after that incident, Aldrich opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs with an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle and a handgun and went on a shooting rampage.
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.
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.
Some customers were able to flee through exit doors but many were trapped inside the nightclub.
Chief Vasquez said at least two people inside the club confronted the gunman as he made his way through the club shooting, KRDO reported.
The brave customers disarmed the gunman, beat him up with his own weapon, and then held him at gunpoint until police arrived, according to the police chief.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said the brave patrons who intervened and disarmed the mass shooter saved countless lives.
“Had that individual not intervened, this could have been exponentially more tragic,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told the Associated Press.
Officers took the shooter into custody at 12:02 a.m., KRDO reported.
Law enforcement sources said that two guns were recovered at the scene – an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle that the gunman used to shoot the people in the nightclub and a handgun – plus additional magazines of ammunition.
Authorities said five people were fatally shot at Club Q, the Associated Press reported.
Twenty-five more people were hurt, seven of them critically, according to officials.
Police said three of the wounded were injured trying to flee the massacre and 22 of them were shot, the Associated Press reported.
The gunman was also transported to the hospital for treatment following the beating he received from the brave patrons who stopped his killing spree and remained there as of Monday morning, the Denver Post reported.
Officials have refused to release any details on the suspect’s medical condition.
Nor have they revealed how Aldrich, who shouldn’t theoretically have been able to have weapons under Colorado’s “red flag” law given the 2021 incident, came to be in possession of multiple guns, The Washington Post reported.
Officials said it was too soon to determine whether the shooting spree was a targeted attack against the LGBTQ community, but 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen told KRDO that the massacre was being investigated through “the lens” of a hate crime.
Watch the 2021 standoff unfold in the video below: