What we know about the suspected shooter at Club Q in Colorado Springs

Club Q Shooting Colorado Springs
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Law enforcement and police tape surround Club Q in Colorado Springs on Nov. 20, 2022 after a mass shooting there overnight.
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Updated Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, 5:02 p.m.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was identified by authorities on Sunday as the person allegedly responsible for the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.

Shortly after Aldrich began shooting, two bar patrons fought for control of his firearm and stopped him from shooting more people. Aldrich is hospitalized from injuries sustained in the fight, however, the extent of his injuries are unknown. Authorities said he has been separated from other hospitalized victims and officials didn’t say which hospital he is in.

“This act does appear to have been carried out by one person, and I can tell you it does not define this community,” said Colorado Springs District Attorney Michael Allen. “If additional suspects are identified or arrested we will share that information with the public … There is no ongoing threat that we are aware of.”

A previous incident

A man by the same name and age was reportedly booked in the El Paso County jail last year after threatening his mother with homemade bombs, multiple weapons and ammunition, according to a news release by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at that time. 

In that event, the man had a lengthy standoff with sheriff’s deputies, and officials evacuated 10 homes in the area and sent reverse text messages to people within a quarter mile of the stand-off, documents said. After a few hours, they were able to get him to leave the house and officials said they didn’t find any explosive devices. 

Officials did not say Sunday what ultimately happened and how that case was resolved. Aldrich has no public criminal record, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities haven’t confirmed whether they are the same person, but officials told reporters at a press conference Sunday morning that previous law enforcement interactions will be part of the investigation into Aldrich. A spokesman at the El Paso County district attorney’s office declined to comment.

On Sunday, people living in a suburban house at an address listed on a media release last summer posted signs outside saying they are not the Aldrich family and asked media to stop knocking on their door because it’s traumatic for their four children.

Unclear if 'red flag' law was even invoked

It was also unclear whether anyone had attempted to apply for an Extreme Risk Protection Order on Aldrich, which could have forcibly removed firearms from his possession. The state’s red flag law, which took effect in 2020, gives judges the authority to make the decision about whether to confiscate someone’s guns if they show signs of violence or mental health problems.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder told reporters in 2020 that he had concerns about the law and his agency didn’t plan on filing any applications, but that he would enforce a court order if someone else, like a family member, applied for an order. 

It is unclear whether the Colorado Springs Police Department has filed any ERPO applications, but said in 2020 they recognized the red flag law as something that was passed by the legislature.

A name change and family history

He didn’t always go by his current name.

In April 2016, when Aldrich was living in San Antonio, his legal guardians filed a petition to change his full name from Nicholas Brink. The petition states the “minor wishes to protect himself & his future from any connections to birth father & his criminal history. Father has had no contact with him for several years.”

The relationship of Aldrich’s guardians to him at the time of the name change is unclear. But in Colorado Springs, Aldrich lived with his grandparents, according to one of his mother’s former landlords. He was 15 years old when the petition was filed.

While neither of his parents petitioned for the name change, both signed documents acknowledging the change. His father submitted an additional statement granting permission for the change.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the suspect's age at the time of the name change.