More than six years ago, as a teenager, the suspect in the deadly shooting of five people at a Colorado gay bar legally changed his identity to “protect himself” from a father with a criminal past that included domestic violence against the suspect’s mother.
Until 2016, 22-year-old murder and hate crime suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich went under the name Nicholas Franklin Brink. According to court documents, he filed a petition with a Texas court to legally alter his name weeks before he turned 16. Legal guardians and grandparents of Brink filed a petition to change his name.
“It is in the minor’s best interests to cut ties with his birth father and criminal past immediately. Father and child haven’t spoken in years, “alleged the Bexar County, Texas petition.
A protection order restricted Aaron F. Brink’s access to his son after he was convicted of misdemeanor battery in 2002
State and federal court records show that the alleged gunman’s father, a former mixed martial arts fighter and pornographic performer, was convicted of violence against the suspected shooter’s mother, Laura Voepel, both before and after the alleged shooter was born.
A protection order restricted Aaron F. Brink’s access to his son after he was convicted of misdemeanor battery in 2002; however, the order was later changed to permit supervised visits between the father and son. The motive for the shooting on Saturday at Club Q in Colorado Springs is still unknown, but new information about the suspect points to a troubled upbringing.
The Washington Post was the first to expose the name change and bullying. His mother called the police last year after he allegedly threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons, and he was subsequently detained.
The records detailing Aldrich’s arrest were kept under wraps at the prosecution’s request
The Associated Press reviewed footage from a Ring doorbell camera and saw Aldrich walk up to his mother’s door on the day of the bomb threat in 2021 with a large black bag and the words, “This is where I stand. “Today is the day that I finally passed away.”
No explosives were found at the time, but proponents for stricter gun control have questioned why police didn’t use “red flag” regulations in Colorado to seize the firearms his mother claims he had.
The records detailing Aldrich’s arrest were kept under wraps at the prosecution’s request. State public defender chief trial deputy Joseph Archambault is representing him in court. The firm’s attorneys do not give interviews to the press about ongoing cases.
Authorities at both the state and federal levels have refused to comment on why they are considering filing charges related to hate crimes. Michael Allen, the district attorney, said that the death sentence would apply to murder charges but that bias crimes may be dealt with through probation. He added that it was crucial to message the neighborhood that crimes motivated by prejudice would not be overlooked.