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Old arrest files suggest Colorado Springs suspect wanted to ‘go out in flames’

Anderson Lee Aldrich, the alleged shooter who killed five people at an LGTBQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs over the weekend, previously told his family he wanted to be “the next mass killer,” KKTV Colorado reports.

In June 2021, Aldrich, who identifies as non-binary, was arrested for threatening the grandmother they lived with with a homemade bomb, prompting a heavily armed police tactical team to respond and evacuate surrounding homes.

Eventually, the crisis negotiators were able to bring in Aldrich, and they were placed in the El Paso County Jail on two counts of criminal threats and three counts of first-degree kidnapping, according to the sheriff’s office.

Anderson Lee Aldrich booking photo

(AP)

However, the case file has since been classified, so it is unclear whether formal charges have been filed or dropped.

The sheriff’s office said at the time that the woman called the department and said “her son threatened to hurt her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition.”

County officials said they could not comment on the sealed case under state law.

According to the arrest file in the case disclosed by KKTV, investigators said they believed Aldrich had told family members he wanted to carry out a mass shooting or bombing and “go up in flames.”

According to court records, the then 21-year-old allegedly threatened his grandparents with “murder” when they announced plans to sell their home and move to Florida in 2021.

They also said the move would disrupt their bomb-building plans, a scheme referred to in court documents in which investigators requested a search warrant to search for weapons and explosives to “prevent a reported planned terrorist attack,” according to KKTV.

At a previous family relocation meeting, the outlet reported, Aldrich allegedly pulled out a loaded gun and stated that “you will die today.”

Aldrich said the 2021 arrest and ensuing public description in the sheriff’s office press release was incorrect.

“All of this is not true,” said Colorado Springs Newspaperearlier this year, before the nightclub shooting at Q.

“They tried to bury me under charges and keep me behind bars,” they added.

Aldrich’s father, Aaron Brink, a former MMA fighter and self-proclaimed “conservative Republican”, told CBS8 that he raised the suspected shooter to believe that being gay was wrong and “praised him for his violent behavior.”

However, he added that he did not believe in committing the violence of which Aldrich is accused.

“I am very sorry for your loss,” Mr. Brink said. “Regardless of politics, it’s about people’s lives. I’m so sorry. My soul goes out to you.”

“Life is so fragile and precious,” he said. “These people’s lives were precious.”

Aldrich on Wednesday appeared in court for the first timewhere they faced preliminary charges, including five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime.

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