Colorado club killer’s porn star dad worried his son was gay when he first heard of massacre
Porn star Aaron Brink said he was relieved to hear his son is ‘not gay’ after finding out the 22-year-old had been accused of slaughtering five people and injuring 18 others in a mass shooting at a gay club.
A defense attorney had called Brink, who lives in Southern California, to tell him that Anderson Lee Aldrich was under arrest for the massacre at Club Q.
‘They started telling me about the incident, a shooting involving multiple people,’ Brink, who goes by the stage name Dick Delaware, told CBS 8.
‘And then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar. I said, ‘God, is he gay?’ I got scared, ‘Sh*t, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, ‘Phhhewww’.’
Aldrich’s father went on to say that being gay did not align with their religious values.
‘You know Mormons don’t do gay. We don’t do gay. There’s no gays in the Mormon church. We don’t do gay.’
Aaron Franklin Brink expressed relief when he realized his son is ‘not gay’ when he first heard the 22-year-old ‘massacred five people and injured 18 at a gay club’
A defense attorney had called Brink, who lives in Southern California, to tell him that Anderson Lee Aldrich (pictured) was under arrest for the massacre at Club Q
The Mormon Church has confirmed that while Aldrich was a member, he has not been active in some time, The Daily Beast reported.
In court documents filed on Tuesday, lawyers for Aldrich, who changed his name from Nicholas Franklin Brink in 2016 to escape his father’s past, said Aldrich identifies as non-binary.
‘They use, they/them pronouns,’ the court filings read.
Text messages shown to the Daily Beast by a source close to Aldrich show their mother referring to her son as ‘he and him.’
A person who claimed to be a relative, but had answered a phone number listed to Brink’s wife, told the outlet they were ‘taking it one day at a time.’
‘There is nothing really to do, after everything’s said and done,’ she said.
Aldrich opened fire at Club Q shortly before midnight on November 19 before he was subdued by two bystanders.
Aldrich was initially hospitalized with unspecific injuries but was transferred to the El Paso County Jail on Tuesday, according to authorities.
Relatives of Aldrich who wished to remain nameless told The Daily Beast that they were ‘totally disgusted.’
Brink has a sordid past, including mixed martial arts, drugs, reality TV and porn, which led 22-year-old Aldrich to change their name
Brink apologized to the victims of the club shooting expressing that he had ‘let his son down’ and said that he had believed he was dead, until a recent call which became heated
‘I don’t want anything to do with that part of the family,’ the relative said.
‘They’ve always had issues, a lot of problems. I’m totally disgusted by that side of the family right now.’
In Brink’s interview with CBS 8 he apologized for his son’s alleged actions and said that there was ‘no excuse for going and killing people.’
‘If you’re killing people, there’s something wrong, it’s not the answer,’ he said.
At the same time, Brink, who is a recovering methamphetamine user, ‘praised his son’s violent behavior.’
‘I told him it works, it is instant and you’ll get immediate results,’ he said.
Brink told the broadcaster that he didn’t know that his son was still alive.
He claims that Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, had called him in 2016 to say that their son had changed their name, then died by suicide.
‘I thought he was dead,’ said Brink.
‘I mourned his loss. I had gone through a meltdown and thought I had lost my son.
‘His mother told me he changed his name because I was in Intervention [a reality tv show] and had been a porno actor.’
Apart from the name change court documents reveal that the alleged club shooter identifies as non-binary, using they/them pronouns
Aldrich, 22, has been ordered to be held in jail without bail in a hearing on Wednesday
Aldrich also appeared battered and bruised at court, a day after they were released from the hospital following his injuries
Brink found out that his son was in fact alive six months ago when Aldrich called him out of the blue.
The two had not spoken in six years but the conversation quickly turned into an argument, Brink said.
‘He’s pissed off,’ Brink, who described himself in the interview as a conservative Republican.
‘He’s pissed off at me. He wants to poke at the old man.’
The Club Q shooting isn’t the first time Aldrich had been linked to violent behavior.
Last year, Aldrich was arrested after police said that he threatened to blow up the Colorado Springs house where his mother had been living.
The charges were later dropped.
This meant that Colorado’s red flag laws, which would have allowed authorities to seize Aldrich’s guns were not triggered.
Instead its believed that the rifle used at the Club Q shooting was bought legally, according to Good Morning America.
Brink, who did federal prison time in the late 1990s for marijuana importation, said that he still loves his son despite the accusations.
‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ he told CBS 8.
‘Life is so fragile and it’s valuable. Those people’s lives were valuable. You know, they’re valuable.
‘They’re good people, probably. It’s not something you kill somebody over. I’m sorry I let my son down.’
Aldrich made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon and was held without bail.
Investigators at the scene of the Club Q nightclub, which was hosting a drag show when they said Aldrich walked in and opened fire
People held a vigil at a makeshift memorial near the Club Q nightclub on Sunday night after the horror shooting
The shooting is now being investigated as a hate crime, leaving members of local LGBTQ community devastated
Brink has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for battery against the alleged shooter´s mother, Laura Voepel, both before and after the suspect was born, state and federal court records show.
A 2002 misdemeanor battery conviction in California resulted in a protective order that initially barred the father, Aaron F. Brink, from contacting the suspect or his mother except through an attorney, but was later modified to allow monitored visits with the child.
The father also was sentenced to two and a half years in custody for importation of marijuana and while on supervised release violated his conditions by testing positive for illegal steroids, according to public records.
His child’s request for a name change came months after Aldrich was apparently targeted by online bullying.
A website posting from June 2015 that attacked a boy named Nick Brink suggests they may have been bullied in high school.
The post included photos similar to ones of the shooting suspect and ridiculed Brink over their weight, lack of money and what it said was an interest in Chinese cartoons.
Additionally, a YouTube account was opened in Brink’s name using the moniker ‘TheAzzbackward’ included an animation titled ‘Asian homosexual gets molested.’
Just before midnight on November 19, Aldrich is thought to have opened fire in Club Q in Colorado Springs. They were eventually subdued by US Army veteran Richard M. Fierro as well as patron Thomas Jane and a drag performer.
The club’s owners say Aldrich arrived with ‘tremendous firepower’ – an AR-15 rifle, six magazines of ammo and a handgun. Patrons used the handgun Aldrich was carrying to beat them to the ground until police arrived.
Xavier Kraus, 23, told the Daily Beast that Aldrich would regularly attend a gun range were ‘rapid fire’ was allowed. The suspect when to the shooting range with their mother, Voepel, the neighbor said.
Laura Voepel (4th from right), the mother of suspected Club Q shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich (3rd from right), is seen in a family photo from her Facebook page
Aldrich last year, showed up at the house where his mother was renting a room, after threatening to blow up his grandparents, with whom he’d been living nearby
Aldrich’s mom helped him into the house and had called the landlord to tell her not to tell anyone where he was
Kraus also said that in times of anger, Aldrich would use gay slurs and regularly used the word ‘f****t’.
In a separate interview with CBS News, Kraus said that Aldrich admitted to using heroin and said that they were addicted to opium.
During that interview, Kraus discussed the suspect’s use of gay slurs saying: ‘It didn’t come across as true hate like, ‘I’m gonna go kill these people.”
Xavier Kraus said in his Daily Beast interview that when he had a conversation with the suspect about the possible dangers surround guns, Aldrich said: ‘It’s not the gun you’ve go to be afraid of, it’s the people.’
The neighbor said that Aldrich even invited him to the gun range in order to teach them about gun safety.
Kraus said: ‘We never ended up getting around to do that. But that conversation just kind of sits with me, because I know how I felt when I saw the gun and he showed it to me.’
He continued: ‘He was like, ‘This is all legal. I’m totally allowed to have this.’ It was an assault-rifle type gun.’
A year and a half before the Colorado Springs shooting, Aldrich allegedly threatened their mother with a homemade bomb, forcing neighbors in surrounding homes to evacuate while the bomb squad and crisis negotiators talked him into surrendering.
The incident involved Aldrich fleeing to the home where his mother was renting a room. They had been living nearby with their grandma, Pam Pullen, and her husband Jonathan, but went on the run after threatening to kill them.
Their mother Laura is shown on Ring camera footage from that day welcoming her child into the house, helping them with their suitcase. Once inside, they filmed themself in SWAT gear, broadcasting live on their mother’s Facebook account.
Brink reportedly left Aldrich’s mother when Anderson was a baby, before taking up MMA and porn, under the alias ‘Dick Delaware’
Brink also appeared on camera on the reality shows Divorce Court and Intervention in 2009, when his fiancée tried to get him to stop using crystal meth
‘This is your boy, I’ve got the f*****g s**theads outside. F*****g s**theads got their f*****g rifles out. If they breach I’m [going to] blow it to holy hell. Come on in boys, let’s f*****g see it!’ they said in the video.
Despite that scare, there’s no public record that prosecutors moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Aldrich, or that police or relatives tried to trigger Colorado’s ‘red flag’ law that would have allowed authorities to seize the weapons and ammo Aldrich’s mother says they had with them.
Gun control advocates said Aldrich’s June 2021 threat is an example of a red flag law ignored, with potentially deadly consequences.
While it’s not clear the law could have prevented Saturday night’s attack — such gun seizures can be in effect for as little as 14 days and extended by a judge in six-month increments — they say it could have at least slowed Aldrich and raised their profile with law enforcement.
Kraus, who said that he once considered Aldrich to be a friend, told CBS: ‘Apparently he was charged with kidnapping his mother. [Neither] his mother or his mom’s mom – they didn’t want any charges pressed against Andy.’
Documents associated with the threat are now sealed.
Kraus went on to say that Aldrich also made a reference to ‘shooting his gun’ when talking about a woman who he had issues with.
He said: ‘And this one of the instances where his mom was like, ‘Andy, oh my God, no, you can’t say that.”
Kraus said that around 3 am on Sunday morning, police called to his home to ask about Aldrich.
Kelly Loving was shot dead along with barmen Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston
Ashley Paugh, pictured with her husband and 11-year-old daughter, was among those killed. She was visiting the club with a friend when the gunman opened fire
Kassy Fierro is pictured with her boyfriend Raymond Green Vance, 22, who tragically lost his life during the shooting at the Colorado Springs gay bar
Two of the victims have been named as Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston, a 28-year-old trans man, who both worked in the club as bartenders.
Aeron Laney, 24, was at the club for the first time, having just moved to Colorado Springs. She described a small club where everyone seemed to know each other, the kind of place she knew she would fit right in.
‘Everyone was just having a good time and smiling and laughing,’ she told AFP, tearfully looking at the bank of flowers growing outside the club.
‘I just can’t wrap my head around somebody just walking in and seeing people that are so happy and so comfortable in their community and just wanting to end that.’
Laney and her friend Justin Godwin left minutes before the gunman stormed in.
‘Maybe the guy was already there. Like was he in the parking lot… just planning it?’ Godwin, 25, said. ‘It’s just terrifying.’
US President Joe Biden condemned the attack, slamming violence against the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender women of color.
‘We must drive out the inequities that contribute to violence against LGBTQI+ people. We cannot and must not tolerate hate,’ he said.
A worker at Club Q, which is billed as a ‘happening gay nightclub’ on its website, paid tribute to his two slain colleagues Sunday, sharing a picture of Rump and Aston to Facebook.
The post featured a photo of the pair behind Club Q’s bar, as well as an accompanying caption mourning the loss.
‘My boys are gone,’ the tribute read. ‘Plz (sic) take care of each other. I love you both so much.’
A friend of Rump also posted a tribute to his late friend, who, like Aston, was a member of the local LGBTQ community.
‘Two beautiful souls were taken from us last night,’ the poster wrote, adding that while he did not know Aston well, ‘both [would] be missed.’
The poster would go on to paint a picture of Rump from accounts of those who knew him, describing him as ‘an amazing person with a big heart.’
Another victim, Raymond Green Vance was the boyfriend of Kassy Fierro. She is the daughter of Rich Fierro, who was one of two men who ultimately managed to subdue gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich.
Kassy broke her knee as she was running for cover during the shooting.
‘I had my whole Colorado Springs family in there. I had to do something. He was not going to kill my family,’ Rich Fierro, 45, said to the Washington Post on Monday.
‘I just want people to take care of people, the people who are hurt and no longer with us. I still got two of my best friends who are in the hospital. They still need prayers; they still need support.’
Fierro, who works for defense contractor Northrop Grumman and co-owns Atrevida Beer, was at the club along with his wife, Jessica.
Among the remaining victims was a transgender woman who just moved to Colorado Springs and a married mother who was visiting the club with a friend when she was killed.