The person suspected of finishing up the horrific capturing inside a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub over the weekend seems to have additionally been arrested final summer time following an alleged bomb menace and lengthy standoff with regulation enforcement.
Officers stated Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, opened fireplace contained in the Membership Q nightclub simply earlier than midnight Saturday, killing 5 and wounding at the least 25, earlier than “heroic” patrons stopped the gunman.
Little has been confirmed about Aldrich or his motives as of Sunday afternoon, however officers have stated they’re investigating the assault as a hate crime.
Aldrich doesn’t seem to have a public presence on social media. He was taken into custody simply minutes after the capturing started, officers stated.
Aldrich is the grandson of California Assemblyman Randy Voepel (R-Santee), an aide for the legislator informed The Instances on Monday. Voepel didn’t want to remark Monday evening, the aide stated.
It seems Aldrich was beforehand arrested in June 2021 after a girl reported her son had threatened her with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition,” in accordance with a press launch from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Workplace. The person arrested within the incident — following an extended standoff with deputies and the evacuation of close by houses — had the identical identify and matching age as Aldrich.
Authorities haven’t confirmed if the 2 males are the identical.
Within the June 2021 incident, deputies discovered Aldrich, then age 21, in a suburban Colorado Springs residence — about 15 miles from Membership Q — the place he refused to give up to officers, the report stated.
Deputies discovered Aldrich inside Leslie Bowman’s residence, who was renting out a spare room to Aldrich’s mom Laura Voepel. Bowman stated Aldrich was staying close by along with his grandparents.
“Laura texted me and asked, ‘Hey, when are you coming home?’ I said I’d be there in 30 minutes to an hour,” Bowman recalled in an interview Sunday. “She told me, `Well, don’t come home. Some people are looking for Andy (Anderson Aldrich).’’’
Bowman, 41, was alarmed.
“When she said people were looking for Andy, I thought maybe it was the police,” she stated. “And I wasn’t cool with that.”
Bowman described Aldrich as an enormous man. She stated he was quiet and didn’t socialize a lot.
“He was physically imposing, so I could see why some people might find him intimidating,” she stated.
Bowman stated she known as the police to see what was occurring.
“I didn’t know the severity of the situation but they said, ‘Don’t go to your house,’” Bowman stated.
Quite a few regulation enforcement autos have been outdoors her residence. Voepel was inside together with her son for 2 hours earlier than she left,” Bowman stated.
“It was then that I found out about the weapons and explosives,” she stated.
Deputies ended up evacuating 10 houses within the space and sending out a textual content alert to residents within the quarter-mile radius, earlier than Aldrich walked outdoors and was arrested with out subject, the discharge stated. Bowman stated the standoff lasted about three hours, till a disaster negotiations unit talked Aldrich into popping out the entrance door.
He was arrested on fees of two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, although it’s unclear who was kidnapped. No explosives have been discovered, the discharge stated.
“No one followed up with me to ask questions or give me any details, not the district attorney, not anyone,” Bowman stated. “Since the situation ended peacefully, I just went on with my life.”
Final month, she stated, sheriff’s deputies once more got here by her residence, however this time for a wellness examine on Voepel, who she stated not lives there. She didn’t know what prompted the examine.
In line with the Colorado Springs Gazette, no formal fees have been pursued in opposition to Aldrich and the case was sealed. A name to the district lawyer’s workplace Sunday was not returned however a spokesman for the D.A. declined to touch upon the problem to different media retailers.
When Bowman first discovered of the capturing and the suspect’s id Sunday, she was surprised. She obtained off the bed and paced the flooring of her home.
She known as herself a robust supporter of the 2nd Modification but wonders how Aldrich obtained a gun.
“I hope justice is served,” Bowman stated. “I don’t think it was with the bomb threat situation last year. If it was, he would be in jail and five people would not be dead today.”
Instances employees writers Hannah Wiley in Sacramento, Kevin Rector in Colorado Springs and Jack Dolan in Los Angeles contributed to this report.