Anderson Lee Aldrich, the alleged shooter who killed five people in a Colorado Springs LGTBQ+ club over the weekend, previously told their family they wanted to be the “next mass killer,” Colorado’s KKTV reports.
In June of 2021, Aldrich, who identifies as nonbinary, was arrested for threatening the grandmother, with whom they lived, with a homemade bomb, prompting a heavily armed police tactical team to respond and evacuate surrounding homes.
Eventually, crisis negotiators were able to bring Aldrich in, and they were booked into El Paso County Jail on on two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, according to the sheriff’s office.
However, the record in the case has since been sealed, so it’s unclear if formal charges were pursued or dropped.
A sheriff’s office press released said at the time that a woman called the department and said "her son was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.”
County officials have said they cannot comment on such a sealed case under state law.
According to arrest records in the case uncovered by KKTV, investigators said they believed Aldrich told family members they wanted to carry out a mass shooting or bombing and “go out in a blaze.”
The then 21-year-old allegedly made “homicidal threats” to their grandparents when they announced plans to sell their house and move to Florida in 2021, according to the court records.
They also said the move would mess with their plans to build a bomb, a scheme referenced in court papers, where investigators requested a search warrant to look for weapons and explosives to “prevent a reported planned terrorism attack,” according to KKTV.
At a previous family meeting about the move, the outlet reports, Aldrich allegedly drew a loaded gun and claimed “you guys die today.”
Aldrich has said the 2021 arrest and resulting public description of it in a sheriff’s office press release was incorrect.
“All of that is false,” they told the Colorado Springs Gazetteearlier this year, before the shooting at Club Q.
“They tried to bury me under (the charges) and keep me behind bars,” they added.
Aldrich’s estranged father, Aaron Brink, a former MMA fighter and self-described “conservative Republican,” told CBS8 he raised the suspected shooter to believe being gay was wrong and “praised him for violent behaviour”.
He added, however, that he doesn’t believe in committing the sort of violence Aldrich is accused of.
“I’m so sorry guys for your loss,” Mr Brink said. “With no regard to politics, it’s human life. I’m so sorry. My soul goes out to you.”
“Life is so fragile, and it’s valuable,” he said. “Those people’s lives were valuable.”
On Wednesday, Aldrich appeared in court for the first time, where they are facing preliminary charges including five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motiviated crime.