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Family called FBI and 911 about Club Q shooting suspect’s threats night before 2021 standoff, records show

Photos of the shooting victims are displayed at a makeshift memorial outside Club Q on Nov. 22, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A gunman opened fire inside the LGBTQ+ club on Nov. 19, killing five and injuring more than 20 others before being tackled and disarmed by a club patron. (Chet Strange/Getty Images/TNS)

The day before the Club Q shooting suspect’s alleged 2021 bomb threat and police standoff, family members called the FBI and El Paso County law enforcement to report the suspect was threatening violence against relatives, Christians and the government, records show.

Anderson Aldrich‘s grandaunt called 911 at 11 p.m. June 17, 2021, to report that Aldrich was threatening to kill everyone in Aldrich’s grandparents’ house, according to El Paso County Sheriff’s Office records obtained by The Denver Post through a public records request.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the suspect in the mass shooting at Club Q appeared in court on Dec. 6, 2022. (El Paso County District Court/TNS)

The grandaunt — the sister of Aldrich’s grandfather — told the 911 dispatcher that Aldrich was going to kill Christians and “anyone who has anything to do with the government,” the documents show. She said she was concerned about her brother’s safety. Aldrich’s grandfather told another family member that he had been hiding in a closet because he was afraid and that he hadn’t answered his phone for an hour, according to the records.

Aldrich is accused of killing five people and injuring more than 20 in the Nov. 19 mass shooting at Club Q, a beloved LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Prosecutors charged Aldrich with more than 300 criminal counts, including first-degree murder and hate crimes. Aldrich’s attorneys have said Aldrich is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.

The grandaunt reported that Aldrich had an AR-15 rifle, full body armor and was in the process of making another gun. The grandaunt told the dispatcher that Aldrich’s grandmother said Aldrich would fight police officers and that she feared Aldrich would go into a church or government building, according to the sheriff’s records.

The grandaunt told the 911 dispatcher that she first called the FBI about the threat, but said the FBI told her to contact local law enforcement. The FBI previously confirmed it had received a tip about Aldrich in June 2021 before Aldrich was arrested in connection with a bomb threat. The agency, however, did not offer any details about the tip itself.

Following the grandaunt’s 911 call, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office dispatched two deputies to the house, but they never approached it because one of the deputies was able to contact Aldrich’s grandfather by phone just after midnight, the records show.

Aldrich’s grandfather told the deputy that he was safe and that he did not feel threatened, though he noted Aldrich had an AR-15 and a handgun, according to the sheriff’s records.

The incident was closed and logged as noncriminal, though deputies entered a warning about the address in their computer system.

“Anderson Lee Aldrich is known to have a Glock and AR-15 and unknown amount of ammunition,” the warning states. “Anderson has made threats to (his grandfather) that he will shoot it out with the cops. Send 2 Deputies on all calls. Any calls reference this address, start by phone.”

The following day, El Paso County sheriff’s deputies responded to the house where Aldrich’s mom lived and engaged in a standoff after Aldrich was alleged to have made more threats against family members. Aldrich was arrested after menacing their grandparents with a gun, threatening to blow up their mom’s house and speaking of a plan to carry out a mass shooting, sheriff’s officials alleged in court documents.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the felony menacing and kidnapping charges against Aldrich in that 2021 case, citing an inability to get Aldrich’s family to cooperate as witnesses.

Sheriff’s officials have said they seized Aldrich’s weapons in the 2021 case and did not return them.


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