Anderson Lee Aldrich, the alleged Colorado Springs Club Q shooter, 5 dead, 25 hurt in Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooting
An attacker opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs late Saturday, killing five people and wounding at least 25, officials said. The club said the suspect was subdued by patrons, and Colorado Springs police said he was taken into custody and hospitalized for treatment of his injuries.
Who is Anderson Lee Aldrich?
Colorado Springs police Chief Adrian Vasquez identified the suspect as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich at a news conference Sunday morning. Investigators recovered two guns on the scene and said Aldrich used a long gun during the shooting, Vasquez said. Aldrich remains in a local hospital.
Does Aldrich have a criminal history?
Law enforcement officials said Aldrich’s “interactions with law enforcement” are part of the broader investigation, and they would not say if he’d previously been contacted by police. A man with the same name and matching age was arrested in June 2021 for threatening his mother with “a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition,” according to media reports at the time. That man was arrested after a brief standoff.
Howard Black, spokesman for the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, would not confirm Sunday morning that Aldrich was the same man arrested in June 2021. Black said the June 2021 incident “is all part of the investigation and will be released as appropriate.”
The June 2021 incident played out at Leslie Bowman’s home in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. Bowman rented a room at her house to Aldrich’s mother for about 15 months leading up to the alleged bomb threat. Andy, as Bowman knew Aldrich, would visit his mom at the house, usually spending time watching movies in her room. He wasn’t talkative, which Bowman thought was fairly typical of young men of that age.
There was one episode where Aldrich was aggressive toward her, Bowman said. His mother had been complaining about the toilet in her bathroom not working, but it was late and Bowman wanted to address it the next day. Aldrich lashed out.
“He kind of got in my face and said ‘Get out and slammed the door in my face,” Bowman recalled. “I just chalked it up to young male aggression. It was late and everyone was grumpy. There were no incidents after that.”
Then, on June 18, 2021, while Bowman was out babysitting a friend’s kids, she got some strange texts from Aldrich’s mother asking when she might be home. Eventually, she told Bowman not to come home because “some people were looking for Andy.” Bowman called the police and found out her home was at the center of an alleged bomb threat, evacuation order, and police standoff.
Aldrich eventually surrendered and was arrested. Bowman returned to the house the next day and packed up his mother’s things. Some men from Aldrich’s mother’s church retrieved them a day later. Bowman never saw or spoke to her former tenant again.
It wasn’t until last month that Bowman thought to look into what happened following Aldrich’s arrest. El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies knocked on her door looking for his mother. Bowman pieced together that it may have been a welfare check.
That led Bowman to search the internet for updates on Aldrich’s case. She learned the charges had been dropped.
“The police, investigators, the DA, no one contacted me after that weekend,” Bowman said of the 2021 standoff. “I hope (his mother) is OK. I’m sure we’ll find out soon.”
Bowman was under the impression the family was getting ready to leave Colorado back in 2021. Aldrich was living with his grandparents, who were in the process of selling their home in Lorson Ranch to relocate to Florida. Aldrich and his mother were supposed to join them before his arrest.
🚨#BREAKING: Mass shooting with multiple injures at a gay nightclub⁰
📌#ColoradoSprings l #CO⁰⁰Multiple law enforcements and EMS are responding to the scene of a Mass shooting at a gay nightclub called Club Q in Colorado Springs with reports of 12+ people have been shot pic.twitter.com/ZYQk1I8UTi
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) November 20, 2022
What do police believe was Aldrich’s motive in the Club Q shooting?
As of Sunday morning, officials declined to answer questions about the suspect’s motive for the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation. One person living in an apartment complex linked to the suspect said police had come by and asked questions early Sunday morning. She and another resident of the complex said they’d both moved in recently and didn’t know the suspect.
In a statement, Club Q termed the shooting a hate attack.
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the club posted on its Facebook page. It said its prayers were with victims and families, adding: “We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.”
GLAAD — the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation — called the attack “unspeakable.”
“You can draw a straight line from the false and vile rhetoric about LGBTQ people spread by extremists and amplified across social media, to the nearly 300 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year, to the dozens of attacks on our community like this one,” GLAAD’s president and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, said. “That this mass shooting took place on the eve of on Transgender Day of Remembrance when we honor the memory of the trans people killed the prior year, deepens the trauma and tragedy for all in the LGBTQ community.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Denver Post reporters Seth Klamann, Joe Rubino, and Elise Schmelzer contributed to this report.
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