Colorado LGBTQ club gunman made bomb threat to mother, evaded ‘red flag’ laws
( NYPost )
The gunman who allegedly opened fire inside a Colorado LGBTQ club Saturday night, killing five people, had prior run-ins with the law including reportedly threatening his own mother with a homemade bomb.
Anderson Lee Aldrich — who was recovering in a hospital after the attack — had been arrested and charged with menacing and first-degree kidnapping in June 2021 for allegedly making a threat to detonate an explosive, according to police records.
Aldrich had “multiple weapons” and ammunition in his possession when he allegedly threatened to unleash carnage — causing 10 homes in the area to be evacuated.
Police did not find any homemade explosives.
His mother had refused to cooperate with investigators in the case. Aldrich was not prosecuted, according to local Fox affiliate station KDVR.
The records were sealed, helping him evade any “red flag” laws and potential seizure of weapons, according to the Associated Press.
Aldrich himself said the case was dropped in a voicemail he left at the paper after calling an editor asking for the story to be removed or updated.
“There is absolutely nothing there, the case was dropped, and I’m asking you either remove or update the story,” he said in a voice message to the Gazette. “The entire case was dismissed.”
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said its investigation into the nightclub shooting will also include a probe of the bomb threat.
Gun control activists wondered if the red flag law had been utilized, whether the deadly tragedy could have been prevented or whether it at least could have flagged Aldrich to authorities.
“We need heroes beforehand — parents, co-workers, friends who are seeing someone go down this path,” said Colorado state Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son was killed in the Aurora theater shooting and sponsored the state’s red flag law passed in 2019. “This should have alerted them, put him on their radar.”
Aldrich allegedly entered Club Q in El Paso County with a long gun just before midnight and immediately opened fire on patrons and employees — until several customers were able to stop the bloodshed and subdue him.
Five people died and 18 were injured — seven critically, police said. Investigators are looking into a possible motive and whether hate crime charges are appropriate. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.