A 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just before midnight Saturday and immediately opened fire, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others.
The suspect in the shooting at Club Q was later identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. Aldrich used a long rifle in the shooting before he was subdued by heroic patrons. While one disarmed Aldrich, another beat him with his own gun.
Aldrich Grandson of California State Assembly Member Randy Voebel
According to Heavy.com, Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing Republican State Assembly member Randy Voepel, the former mayor of Santee, California. Voepel represents the 71st district in the San Diego area.
There were calls to expel Voepel from the state Assembly after he made comments comparing the January 6 attacks to the Revolutionary War. Aldrich's mother, Laura Voepel, has written posts praising Randy Voepel on Facebook and confirming he is her father.
Randy Voepel Voice Support for Jan 8 Attack on the US Capitol
"This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny," Randy Voepel, who was defeated in a Republican primary in August 2022, said in a San Diego Union-Tribune article three days after January 6.
"Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear-in on January 20th." According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voepel "later tweeted that he condemned violence and lawlessness." Voepel and his office did not immediately respond to requests for comments from Heavy.
Aldrich Arrested Last Year Over Threats with Homemade Bomb, Weapons
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.