Anderson Lee Aldrich sent mom a chilling message hours before Club Q was shot

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Less than a day before Colorado Springs mass shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich allegedly opened fire at an LGBT+ nightclub, their mother posted a chilling message about her child on Facebook.

“My son is missing,” wrote Laura Voepel, the mother of the 22-year-old mass shooting suspect accused of carrying out the Club Q massacre that left five people dead and more than a dozen injured, reported Inside Edition for the first time.

“He took my phone and my debit card. We had plans and were so excited,” Ms Voepel added.

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She also shared the last message her child sent her a day before the fatal shooting: “Get ready to have the best night ever.”

Just before midnight on Saturday, Ms. Voepel’s child, Aldrich, allegedly walked into the popular LGBT+ dance venue in Colorado Springs and opened fire with a gun that was allegedly legally purchased.

It’s just the latest in a string of details about the suspected gunman’s history and personal relationships with relatives unearthed in the days following the brutal massacre that has led many to investigate how the 22-year-old could legally purchase firearms.

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According to UKTN, law enforcement sources say the suspect legally purchased both weapons — a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun — that were allegedly used in Saturday’s deadly attack.

Aldrich, who reportedly identifies as non-binary, now faces preliminary charges, including five counts of murder and five counts of committing a bias-motivated crime that caused bodily harm in Saturday night’s carnage.

One of the central critiques of Aldrich’s ability to legally purchase firearms stems from an incident that occurred about a year and a half before they were arrested for their involvement in the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooting.

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In June 2021, Aldrich, then aged 21, reportedly threatened their mother with a homemade bomb, forcing neighbors in surrounding homes to evacuate while the bomb call and crisis negotiators persuaded them to surrender.

According to a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Ms. Voepel had called 911 at the time and informed them that her child “threatened to harm her with a homemade bomb, multiple guns and ammunition.” The standoff reportedly lasted three hours before police were able to talk Aldrich out of the way and de-escalate the situation.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the suspect in the mass shooting that killed five people and injured 17 at an LGBTQ nightclub, appears before a judge along with public defenders Joseph Archambault and Michael Bowman at their hearing in a video link from the jail. side and in a wheelchair and showing facial injuries in a still image from a video in Colorado Springs, Colorado

(via REUTERS)

Aldrich was booked on two counts of threatening felony and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, but the 21-year-old was never formally charged and the case was sealed, meaning anyone who inquired about the incident would be told: “so a record does not exist.” District Attorney Michael Allen said Monday.

“The red flag question is something that I don’t think any of us here are in a position to answer,” Mr Allen said, after being asked by a reporter about Aldrich’s past run-ins with law enforcement and how that hasn’t got the state going. brought. laws designed to prevent dangerous people from getting their hands on such weapons.

“Colorado has very restrictive seal laws. What that means is that if a case is filed in a courtroom in the state of Colorado and is dismissed for any reason, it will be automatically sealed,” he added, before explaining exactly how officers would respond if asked about a sealed case.

“That’s a change in the law that happened in 2019. That same statute requires us to give very specific answers… to say in response to questions about it that ‘no such record exists’.”

Mr Allen noted that the 10 “arrest only” charges of first-degree murder and committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily harm are likely to be updated when formal charges are eventually brought to court.

On Wednesday, Aldrich made his first appearance in court via video stream, where a judge denied the 22-year-old suspect’s bail. The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but authorities said Aldrich may face charges of murder and hate crimes.

The next court date has been set for December 6 at 8:30 a.m. local time, but that appearance could move due to a scheduling conflict with the defense.

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