Anderson Lee Aldrich: What we know about the suspect in the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub shooting


The suspect in a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado over the weekend has been identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, who police say walked into the Q Club in Colorado Springs and immediately opened fire, killing five people and wounding 25 others.

Aldrich, 22, faces five counts of first degree murder and five counts of felony aggravated assault causing bodily injury in connection with the shooting, according to an online El Paso County court filing.

The suspect was taken into police custody and treated at a hospital, the police said, adding that the officers did not shoot him. Aldrich remained hospitalized as of Monday morning, when Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said the suspect had not made any statements to police, despite their attempts to interview him for the investigation.

“I didn’t hear that he was uncooperative, just that he decided not to talk to investigators,” Vasquez said, adding that he expects charges to be formally filed “relatively shortly” after Aldrich is released from the hospital.

Here’s what we know about the suspected gunman.

Police received several 911 calls about the shooting starting at 11:56 p.m. local time, according to police. Officers were dispatched at 11.57pm and an officer arrived at Club Q at midnight. The suspect was arrested at 12:02 p.m., police said.

Police said two weapons were found at the scene, including a long rifle Vasquez described in an interview with CNN as an AR-style weapon. The suspect also had a gun, he told CNN on Monday, although the long rifle was the primary weapon used in the shooting.

Two law enforcement sources said CNN records indicate the suspect purchased two weapons, an AR-style rifle and a handgun. CNN has not confirmed when those purchases were made.

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The gunman appeared to be heavily armed and wearing a military-style jacket when he arrived at the club, club owners told The Times, citing their review of surveillance footage.

Haynes said the gunman entered with “tremendous firepower,” The Times reported.

While the suspect already faces state charges, multiple federal agencies and offices, including the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, are aware of the shooting, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado said in a statement Monday. The DA’s office said it would “review all available facts of the incident to determine what federal response is warranted.”

Online court records showed Aldrich had no bond. The document did not reflect whether Aldrich had retained an attorney.

The shooting lasted a few minutes as people inside the club were able to subdue the suspect, police said.

“At least two heroic individuals inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to arrest the suspect,” Vasquez said. “We owe them a big debt of gratitude.”

Matthew Haynes, one of the club’s owners, told The New York Times that one customer “knocked down the gunman and helped the other.”

“He saved dozens and dozens of lives,” Haynes said of the first patron. “Stop the man cold. Everyone else ran away, and he ran towards him.”

Among the wounded was one of the people who arrested the gunman, Vasquez told CNN on Monday, adding that the injury was not life-threatening. The other person was not injured, Vasquez said.

Aldrich was arrested in June 2021 in connection with a bomb threat that led to a confrontation at his mother’s home, according to a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at the time and his mother’s former landlord. Colorado Springs is in El Paso County.

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Two law enforcement sources confirmed that the suspect in the Saturday shooting and the bomb threat were the same person based on his name and date of birth.

Video obtained by CNN shows Aldrich surrendering to law enforcement last year after allegedly making a bomb threat. Footage from the homeowner’s doorbell camera shows Aldrich exiting the home with his hands up and barefoot, walking toward sheriff’s deputies.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report by the man’s mother that he was “threatening to harm her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition,” according to the release. Deputies called the suspect, and he “refused to comply with orders to surrender,” the release states, leading them to evacuate nearby homes.

Several hours after the initial call to police, the Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiation Unit was able to get Aldrich out of the home, and he was arrested after walking out the front door. Authorities did not find any explosives in the house.

Leslie Bowman, the owner of the house where Aldrich’s mother lived, provided CNN with the videos. Aldrich’s mother rented a room in the house for a little more than a year, Bowman said, and Aldrich would come visit his mother there.

Attempts by CNN to reach Aldrich’s mother for comment were unsuccessful. Vasquez said Monday that she was not cooperating with the investigation into Saturday’s shooting, but that authorities would “welcome an interview with her at any time.”

It was not immediately clear how the bomb threat case was resolved, but the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the district attorney’s office said no formal charges had been filed in the case. The district attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment from CNN.

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Aldrich’s arrest in connection with the bomb threat would not show up in background checks, according to law enforcement sources who said records indicate he purchased the weapon because the case was never tried, the charges were dropped and the records were sealed. It is not clear what caused the records to be closed.

Aldrich also called the paper in an attempt to remove an earlier story about the incident in 2021 from the site, the paper reported. “There is nothing there, the case has been deleted, and I am asking you to remove or update the story,” Aldrich said in a voicemail, according to the paper.

The revelation about the suspect’s run-in with law enforcement last year raised questions about Colorado’s red flag law and whether it should have applied to Aldrich, or whether it would have prevented the Q Club shooting.

Colorado, which has been the site of many high-profile mass shootings over the past two decades, passed its Red Flag Law in 2019. It is designed to temporarily deny a person in crisis access to firearms through a court order, initiated by the individual’s family. , a family member or a law enforcement officer.

It is unclear if Aldrich purchased a firearm before his arrest in June 2021.

Asked Monday if the Red Flag Act should have been applied in Aldrich’s case, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said it was “too early to make any decisions.”

“It’s still a new tool that we’re learning how to use,” Weiser said. “We know that every tragedy is a learning opportunity to ask what we missed? What can we do better in the future?”


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