‘It was all a very crazy and upsetting experience’: Homeowner remembers earlier incident with Club Q suspect
The Club Q shooting in which five died and 19 were injured has brought renewed attention to an incident involving the suspected gunman, Anderson Aldrich, 22, in the summer of 2021.
Aldrich was booked at the time on five felony counts of menacing and first-degree kidnapping after authorities say he threatened to use explosives on a home where his mother rented a room. Details of the case are not currently available, after it was apparently sealed at Aldrich’s request when the charges were dropped.
But Leslie Bowman remembers.
Bowman said she rented a room to Laura Voepel, Aldrich’s mother, starting in Spring of 2020. Bowman said Voepel moved out short after the bomb threat incident last year.
Bowman said Aldrich, who she called “Andy” lived with his grandparents about five minutes away in the same neighborhood. Bowman said he often came by and visited with his mom in the evenings.
“They would usually go up to the room that she was renting to watch movies or hang out or whatever,” said Bowman. “I didn't really have a ton of communication with him … he just seemed like a quiet young man.”
Bowman said Aldrich was tall and heavy set and “imposing.”
While Aldrich was usually quiet and kept to himself, Bowman recalled an incident from August 2020: She came home from a long trip, and Aldrich and his mother were there, and were having issues with the toilet.
“So I was standing in the hallway, and she was in her bedroom with Andy, and she and I just kind of got into it a little bit cause I was like, ‘well, it's late, I'm exhausted. I will have to deal with this tomorrow.’ And so she and I were kind of going back and forth a little bit, and Andy kind of got in my face and told me to get out and slammed the door in my face, which was very rude and pissed me off at the time.”
Bowman said she let it go, and there were no other problems until the bomb threat incident.
Aldrich owned a firearm, said Bowman, because she knew he had been to a shooting range.
“Nothing out of the normal, just hobby shooting is what that seems like,” Bowman recalled. “So I knew that he was a gun owner.”
Bowman said the day of the bomb threat, on June 19, 2021, she was away from the home and she got a text from Aldrich’s mom to the effect of, “‘if anybody asks where I'm at, don't tell them.’ And I'm like, okay, that's weird.”
When Bowman arrived at her home she saw an officer out front.
“They had put out an evacuation notice to the neighborhood and then they had sent the bomb squad to search my house, which that was very surreal,” Bowman said. “So it was all a very crazy and upsetting experience.”
Using his mom’s phone, a person Bowman identified as Aldrich live streamed himself from inside the home, according to Bowman, who shared the video with CPR News. He appears to be wearing tactical gear.
In the video, the person Bowman said was Aldrich is agitated and walking around the home and can be heard yelling profanities.
“This is your boy. I've got the fu—-- sh—--- outside. Look at that. They got a bead on me. You see that right there? Fu—-- sh—---- got their fu—-- rifles out. If they breach, I'm gonna fu—-- blow it to holy hell. So, uh, go ahead and come on in, boys. Let's fu—-- see it!”
Aldrich was eventually arrested on charges of kidnapping and menacing, but the charges were dropped and the case was sealed.
Not long after, Aldrich’s mom moved out, Bowman said. Last month police came to the house, Bowman said, to check on Aldrich’s mom, who had been gone for more than a year at that point. Bowman said that she then searched online and found that the case was dropped.
“And then yesterday after finding out what happened,” said Bowman. “That's when I got really angry about the fact that those charges were just completely dropped.”
Authorities have so far declined to comment on the prior case.
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