What we learned from the unsealed arrest affidavit of the Club Q suspect

Club Q in Colorado Springs. Nov. 27, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Club Q in Colorado Springs. Nov. 27, 2022.

The person who allegedly opened fire inside of Club Q in Colorado Springs last month apologized to hospital staff after the shooting and claimed to have been awake for four days. That’s what police overheard at the hospital, according to a recently unsealed arrest affidavit.

The Colorado Springs Police Department first received notification that at least 12 shots had been fired at Club Q at 11:56 p.m. on Nov. 19. Minutes later, the shooter was being beaten up on the dance floor by patrons inside Club Q, the affidavit said.

The affidavit provides limited information about the attack and what happened inside the club. It notes that the investigation is active and in early stages.

The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, reportedly started firing shots into the main part of Club Q almost immediately after entering the building, police said. Aldrich fired rounds from an AR-15-style rifle and wore a bulletproof vest. Grainy surveillance footage from Club Q later showed that Aldrich had parked just a few feet from the front entrance of the club in a gold Toyota Highlander.

When police arrived, they said they began assisting victims and arrested Aldrich, who was tackled by an unnamed patron and U.S. war veteran Richard Fierro.

Fierro was out with his family to watch his daughter’s friend perform in a drag show that night. He is adamant that everyone became a hero as they worked together to create makeshift tourniquets for one another and lead people to safety.

Club Q owner Matthew Haynes told police that employees were trained to move patrons and themselves into the club located next door, the Buddies Private Club, which Haynes also owns, the affidavit states. Although the suspected shooter remained inside Club Q, police made plans to search both locations for evidence, and had received reports that bullets may have also struck a nearby 7-Eleven store.

It was sometime after the shooting that killed five people and injured at least 19, that a Colorado Springs police detective overheard Aldrich tell medical staff that they were “sorry,” and had been awake for four days after Aldrich arrived at the hospital, the affidavit states. 

Further details were not provided in the affidavit about this admission, however.

After the shooting, police went to an address that was listed as a potential residence for Aldrich, and they spoke with Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, 45. According to Aldrich’s arrest affidavit, Voepel told police that she and Aldrich were supposed to go to the movies the night of the shooting, but Aldrich had an errand to run and told her it would take about 15 minutes.

Voepel said Aldrich took her phone, and that she had not seen them since, the affidavit states. 

Court documents show Voepel was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest and a petty charge of disorderly conduct that same morning — hours after the shooting at Club Q. Police said she was making “unreasonable noise” and used physical force and violence against officers during her arrest.

For more than two decades, Club Q has served as a safe gathering place for the LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs. Michael Allen, District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District during a press conference this week pledged against tolerating actions against community members based on their sexuality or gender.

Many friends, family and community members have been raising money for victims and their families, and hosting vigils in honor of those impacted by the shooting.

Aldrich on Tuesday was formally charged with 305 criminal counts that include first-degree murder, attempted murder and hate crimes during a second court appearance at the El Paso County Judicial Building.

Aldrich is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in February.

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