Anderson Lee Aldrich: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Anderson Lee Aldrich is the 22-year-old suspect accused of perpetrating a mass shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The November 19, 2022, attack left five dead and 25 injured.

anderson lee aldrich

FacebookAnderson Lee Aldrich

The active-shooter burst into the nightclub with a long rifle and opened fire inside just before midnight, Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Pamela Castro said in an early morning news conference on November 20. Aldrich was subdued by heroic patrons, who were credited with saving lives, Castro said. One disarmed Aldrich and beat him with the suspect’s own gun, according to NPR.

Heavy has confirmed that Aldrich is the grandson of outgoing Republican State Assemblymember 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.

“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.

The first two victims named were bartenders Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston, who were remembered in tributes for their kindness and vibrant personalities. You can read more about the victims here. The mass shooting occurred just before the Transgender Day of Remembrance; Aston identified as transgender.

club q victims

FacebookTwo of the Club Q victims, Daniel Aston (l) and Derrick Rump

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.

Authorities said the Colorado Springs active shooting is being investigated through the “lens” of a hate crime, but that has not been definitively determined.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you that we had a shooting at a local club this evening,” Castro, the police spokesperson in Colorado Springs, said. No officer-involved shooting was involved. Two firearms were located at the scene, police said.

Authorities said that Anderson Aldrich is a 22-year-old male. Authorities have not yet released a photo of Aldrich; the photos Heavy has found are a few years old, so he looks younger in them than he likely looks today. Some people are falsely sharing a picture of Raleigh, North Carolina, Christmas parade suspect Landon Glass on Twitter and saying it is Aldrich. Glass has nothing to do with the Club Q shooting.

The other victims have not yet been identified; two are in critical condition, NBC News reported. Of the 25 wounded, 19 suffered gunshot wounds (others were injured fleeing), according to CNN. The mass shooting broke out around midnight on November 19, 2022, on an evening in which the nightclub was hosting a drag show.

“It came in as an active shooting,” Castro said at the news conference.

Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said in a November 20, 2022, news conference that police are “working tirelessly” to make sure justice is achieved.

“Club Q is a safe haven for our LGBTQ citizens,” Vasquez said, adding that all citizens have a right to feel safe in Colorado Springs.

Here’s what you need to know about Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Aldrich:

1. Anderson Lee Aldrich, Whose Grandfather Ran for Office on a Platform Against ‘the Swamp’ & Whose Mother Once Tried to Find a Private Boxing Coach for Him, ‘Immediately Began Shooting People Inside,’ Police Say

laura voepel

FacebookRandy Voepel with his daughter Laura (kicking leg in the middle of the photo next to Randy Voepel) and other family members.

Online records show Aldrich living at an apartment complex address in Colorado Springs. Online records indicate he shares that address with his mother, Laura Voepel, 44, who works as a support engineer and previously lived in California.

Laura has praised her father, outgoing state Rep. Randy Voepel, in Facebook posts, writing, “Keep up the work Dad~~ You work hard to improve our lives and a lot of us take notice.”

On Aldrich’s birthday, Laura Voepel wrote on Facebook, “My boys 15 birthday! He got head to toe (6’3″) ghillie military suit ànd he is surfing cloud 9.” She tagged her mother, Pamela Pullen, in the post, who records confirm is Randy’s ex-wife.

randy voepel

FacebookRandy Voepel

Heavy was not able to find any social media profiles for Aldrich. But 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.” Her post about needing a criminal defense attorney came just after her son was arrested.

laura voepel


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 then was. She asked in May 2022, “Can anybody refer my son to a private boxing coach? He’s 6’6” tall and hits like a freight train. Cannot find a good gym or anyone serious. He has made huge life changes and needs this!”

In 2021, she wrote, “Does anyone have an extra heavy duty fan they would like to donate to my son? He’s in University Village Apartments and it’s 80 degrees in his apartment and no fan. They put in a new ac but it doesn’t blow any air out. I swear they need to clean those ducts. He doesn’t have any cash so thought I’d ask you. Thanks all! 🙏👍🏻😊”

Randy Voepel was defeated after redistricting forced two Republicans to run against each other. Heavy has reached out to numerous members of Voepel’s office to seek comment from him, including his chief of staff.

“Randy Voepel was elected to represent California’s 71st Assembly District in 2016. Before joining the Assembly, Randy served on the Santee City Council between 1996 and 2000, and then served as Mayor between 2000-2016,” his bio reads. “Randy is a Vietnam veteran, serving two tours in the conflict with the US Navy. After leaving the service, he worked nearly forty years in the insurance industry. Randy and his wife Susan live in Santee, where they raised their two children.”

After Heavy was first to report the suspect’s familial tie to Randy Voepel, the Denver Gazette also confirmed the relationship.

randy voepel

Twitter – Randy Voepel

In Colorado Springs, the police chief described how Aldrich, 22, entered the gay night club and opened fire.

“The suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting people inside,” Vasquez said. At least two “heroic people confronted” and stopped Anderson Aldrich from being able to harm others, the chief said. The witnesses were not identified. The FBI is on the scene. Police are still working to identify the victims who have died, he said. Aldrich used a long rifle, he said.

Some of the people were wounded when they fled; all might not have been shot, Castro said.

The call came in just before 11:57 p.m. of an active shooting at Club Q. The suspect is in the hospital, but Castro said she did not know the gunman’s condition or how the shooter sustained the injuries.

In a press conference on November 20, 2022, Castro said police responded within seconds, and, by 12 a.m., the first officer arrived at the scene. By 12:02 a.m., the suspect was in custody.

The suspect was located inside, Castro said. “We had numerous people transported to multiple local hospitals” by ambulance and police vehicles, she said.

The FBI is on scene and assisting, according to Castro.

“We did get numerous calls on this,” Castro said.

Colorado Springs Police Department holds news conference on nightclub shootingThe Colorado Springs Police Department holds a news conference after five people were killed at an LGBTQ nightclub. Read more: Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: Follow us: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook:

Castro said closing time in Colorado Springs is 2 a.m. Numerous homicide detectives are processing the scene. Vehicles at the scene need to remain until they are fully processed.

According to The New York Times, Chief Adrian Vasquez said the suspect has not spoken with police and “did not appear to have said anything at the crime scene.”

2. Anderson Lee Aldrich Was Previously Involved in a Standoff Following a Bomb Threat

In 2021, Anderson Lee Aldrich was accused of being involved in a bomb threat situation with weapons in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood of Colorado Springs, a press release says.

That coincides with the time frame in which his mother was seeking a criminal defense attorney.

According to the June 18, 2021, press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the reporting party “said her son was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition. The reporting party was not in the home at the time when she made the call and was not sure where her son was.”

anderson lee aldrich

Authorities responded and realized the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, DOB 5/20/2000, was in a residence 1 mile away. The deputies contacted him by phone and he refused to surrender. A tactical support unit responded to the scene and began evacuating 10 homes in the area as a precaution.

Eventually he complied and walked out the front door after a crisis negotiations unit became involved, the release says. It says he was booked into the El Paso County Jail on charges of felony menacing and first-degree kidnapping. That press release said a mugshot for Aldrich would be released in the future. Heavy contacted the jail to seek that mugshot and was sent to a voicemail that is full.

Authorities would not comment on any past criminal history for Anderson Aldrich. There is no ongoing court case listed for Anderson Aldrich in Colorado court records. No formal charges were ever filed, and the case was sealed, so it’s not clear why, reported.

The newspaper reported that Aldrich called an editor and asked for the story to be removed from the website.

“There is absolutely nothing there, the case was dropped, and I’m asking you either remove or update the story,” Aldrich told The Gazette in a voicemail. “The entire case was dismissed.”

The Gazette questioned why this arrest did not activate Colorado’s red flag law.

3. The Club Promoted an ‘All Ages Musical Drag Brunch’ & Held Another Drag Show the Evening of the Mass Shooting; Club Q Called the Tragedy a ‘Hate Attack’

Authorities have not released the gunman’s motive in the gay club attack. However, in a statement, the club referred to it as a “hate attack.”

On its Facebook page, Club Q wrote:

Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community.

Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends.

We thank the quick reactions of heroic customers that subdued the gunman and ended this hate attack.

Authorities said they were still investigating whether the mass shooting was a hate crime.

The club was hosting a series of drag shows this weekend.

The night of the attack, the club hosted a drag show, according to its Facebook page. The drag show started at 9 p.m. on November 19, 2022.

Right around the time of the attack, Club Q was posting about an upcoming drag show.

“Let’s prep for a fantastic Sunday Funday!” the club wrote on its Facebook page.

“Doors open at 11am for our noon ALL AGES DRAG BRUNCH!!! Join us for a fantastic drink special and even more amazing drag show! Then stick around for an all stars cast of our freshest faces! We’re celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance with a variety of gender identities and performance styles! Show starts at 8pm!”

According to Castro, authorities don’t know whether “minors were at the event.”

4. A Woman Who Rented a Spare Room to Aldrich’s Mom Described Him as ‘Aggressive’ & Says He Once Slammed a Door in Her Face

laura voepel

Facebook, Laura Voepel

Leslie Bowman told the New York Times that the 2021 standoff with Anderson occurred at her home because she was renting a spare room to his mother, also identified by the Times as Laura Voepel.

“His mom had called me and said, ‘Don’t come home right now, there are some people looking for Andy,’” Bowman told the newspaper, which reported that “Andy” is Aldrich’s nickname.

Voepel moved out two days later, and Bowman never heard from her again but she told The Times that police visited about a month ago seeking to check Voepel’s welfare.

She told the Times that Aldrich was living in a house with his grandparents but would visit his mother to watch movies with her. (This appears to be a reference to Voepel’s mother and her new husband, not to Randy Voepel.)

Bowman told the Times Aldrich had an “aggressive side,” and once slammed a door in her face when his mother complained about repairs.

“Why is he not in jail, after that happening?” Bowman told The Times. “After that initial day, police never reached out to me for additional information. I’m a Second Amendment supporter, don’t get me wrong. But for him to be out there, and have access to weapons after that incident, I don’t understand it.”

Video captured a massive law enforcement response to the scene of the Club Q attack.

The governor, Jared Polis, released a statement on Facebook:

The Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs was horrific, sickening, and devastating news to wake up to. My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured, and traumatized in this horrific shooting. I have spoken with Mayor Suthers and clarified that every state resource is available to local law enforcement in Colorado Springs. We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman, likely saving lives in the process, and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting. Colorado stands with our LGTBQ Community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn.

Authorities would not say whether Aldrich said anything during the shooting.

5. A Witness Wrote That Anderson Aldrich ‘Entered Club Q With a Rifle & Began Shooting People’

NPR reported that a bystander subdued Aldrich by grabbing his gun and beating him with it. One victim collapsed at a 7-Eleven store nearby, according to NPR.

A man named Tanner Pettit wrote on Facebook that he escaped the mass shooting.

Last night, I had to experience something I never thought I would ever have to experience, and I hope that no one I know ever does. I just moved to Colorado Springs about a week ago, and decided to go to one of the popular LGBTQ+ clubs, Club Q, in the area to watch a drag show, make friends, and have fun.

Near the end of the night, I was waiting for my Uber back home, a man by the name of Anderson Aldrich entered Club Q with a rife and began shooting people. 5 people were shot and killed. At least 18 are reported injured. I was lucky to be able to get out of the club and to safety. Many others were not lucky.

I’m not going to turn this into an argument on gun control, on LGBTQ+ rights, on the role of police officers. Last night I was witness to a disgusting and terrifying tragedy and my heart goes out to the beautiful people I was able to meet that night. My thoughts are with the families of the victims, and I hope that the person behind this disgusting and inhumane act is brought to justice.

On social media, people expressed heartbreak over the shooting. “Heartbroken for my people of the springs lgbtq community,” wrote one man. “I would drive by Club Q every day on my way to work at Brewer’s Republic.”

A woman wrote, “This is devastating. Club Q is a favorite for many friends here in the Springs. I’m not even sure how to process this, but I need to- before the names are released. God bless each and every person involved.”

A man wrote, “To all the victims at #ClubQ last night I am sorry our Country refuses to do better, & last night you had to join a growing list. My condolences to the families of the 5 that passed & their friends. May they Rest in Peace. 🕊️💔🏳️‍🌈To the 18 I pray for your full recovery. 🙏🏼”



What we know about the Colorado Springs mass shooting victims

5 people are killed, at least 18 injured in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs

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