Colorado Springs shooting suspect had ‘threatened mother with home-made bomb’ in June 2021

Police name Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, as a suspect in massacre at an LGBT+ nightclub

Io Dodds
San Francisco
Monday 21 November 2022 04:08 GMT
Multiple dead, several hurt after shooting at Colorado nightclub

The man suspected of killing five people at an LGBT+ nightclub on Colorado Springs on Saturday night appears to have been previously arrested for making bomb threats, according to police records.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was named by police on Sunday morning as a suspect in the deadly massacre, which sent patrons and staff racing for shelter and caused at least 25 people to be injured.

A man with the same name and age was arrested in June 2021 after his mother told officers that he was threatening her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.

Colorado prosecutors declined to explicitly confirm the connection on Sunday morning, saying only that the incident in 2021 was "all part of the investigation and will be released as appropriate".

According to the county sheriff's department, officers were called to an address on Rubicon Drive in Colorado Springs just before 2pm on Friday 18 June 2021.

"The reporting party said her son was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition," the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said.

"The reporting party was not in the home at the time when she made the call and was not sure where her son was.

"Deputies responded to the home and after further investigation realized the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, was in the 6300 block of Pilgrimage Road, which is approximately one mile away."

Officers called in a bomb squad and evacuated ten homes nearby, and after an hour-long standoff crisis negotiators persuaded the suspect to come out and submit to arrest.

The sheriff's office said that Mr Aldrich was charged with two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first degree kidnapping.

Public records seen by The Independent confirm that a person named Anderson Lee Aldrich, aged 22, had lived at the Rubicon Drive address. He was the only person in Colorado listed with that name.

A woman named Leslie Bowman told The New York Times that she had been renting a spare room to Mr Aldrich's mother, Laura Voepel, and was away from home when the incident occurred.

“His mom had called me and said, ‘don’t come home right now, there are some people looking for Andy,’” said Ms Bowman. After that, she said, Ms Voepel moved out, but police visited Ms Bowman's house about a month ago hoping to check on her former lodger's welfare.

She described Mr Aldrich as having an "aggressive side", saying that he had once slammed a door in her face over a problem with his mother's bathroom.

"Why is he not in jail, after [the bomb threat] happening?" Ms Bowman said. "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."

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