Anderson Lee Aldrich strapped a Glock handgun with rounds and gulped down vodka, ominously imploring his grandparents not to thwart his intricate plan to gather firearms, ammunition, body armor, and a homemade bomb to become “the next mass murderer.”
“You people are going to die today, and I’m bringing you with me,” Aldrich was reported as threatening. “I’m ready and armed.”
Day Of Terror
In June 2021, Aldrich launched a day of terror that, as per sealed police documents confirmed by The Associated Press, managed to bring SWAT teams and the bomb platoon to a generally quiet Colorado Springs community, prompted the grandparents to flee for their lives, and incited the evacuation of 10 neighboring houses to avoid a possible bomb blast.
It ended in a confrontation that the then-21-year-old streamed live on Facebook, displaying Aldrich in tactical garb inside the mother’s house and threatening authorities outside — “If they enter, I’m going to f—-ing blow it to holy hell!” — before yielding.
NEW from @AP: Anderson Lee Aldrich, who would later kill five at a Colorado gay nightclub, was on the FBI’s radar a day before being arrested for threatening to kill family members and blow up their home but agents closed out their case just weeks later. https://t.co/Xs2mmp0bUa
— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) December 7, 2022
However, charges against Aldrich for his actions on that day were removed for motives the district attorney denied to clarify due to the particular instance being sealed, and there was no record indicating that firearms were seized under Colorado’s “red flag” law, with the sheriff also refusing to explain.
This may be one of the most blatant ignored warnings in America’s terrible chronicle of mass murder since Aldrich was allowed to carry out his plan to become “the next mass killer” only a year and a half later.
Aldrich entered the Club Q homosexual nightclub shortly before midnight on November 19 while wearing body armor and brandishing an AR-15-style weapon, according to investigators, murdering five people and wounding 17 others until an Army veteran grappled him to the ground.
The booking photo of Anderson Lee Aldrich. Gays bash back. He got what he deserved. pic.twitter.com/evHvFseomO
— Alejandra Caraballo (@Esqueer_) November 23, 2022
Jerecho Loveall, a longtime Club Q dancer, recuperating from a leg wound sustained with one of the high-powered bullets, stated, “It makes no sense.” If they had taken the situation more seriously and served their purpose, the deaths, injuries, and anguish the community has endured would not have occurred.
Wyatt Kent, who held a lady’s hand as she bled to death on top of him and who also managed to lose his partner that night, stated, “It was completely preventable.” Even if no charges are brought for a bomb threat, you may not be psychologically fit to acquire a handgun.
Questions And Pain
Since the incident, the issue of why supposedly nothing was done to address Aldrich after he came onto law enforcement’s watchlist last year has tormented this picturesque city of 480,000 in the Rocky Mountains, even as family members have begun burying the victims and the closed Club Q has evolved into a shrine surrounded by numerous of bouquets, fairy lights, and rainbow flags.
Criminal defense lawyers with whom the AP shared the police documents brought into question why an arrest was not sought in the 2021 incident, given the grandparents’ detailed statements, a scary stalemate at the mother’s home, and a subsequent house search that uncovered bomb-making supplies that Aldrich claimed were powerful enough to destroy an entire police dept and federal building.
The records were obtained by KKTV of Colorado Springs and authenticated to the Associated Press by an unnamed law enforcement officer who was not allowed to discuss the classified case. District Attorney Michael Allen provided a list of seven “committed or triable” felonies, including 3 felony counts of abduction and two felony counts of threatening.
Allen, for his part, has consistently failed to speak on why those charges were dropped, citing a Colorado statute that immediately seals documents in situations when a case is dismissed and forces him to deny the existence of such data. The law was enacted three years ago as part of a countrywide effort to protect people’s lives from being damaged when charges are dismissed and never pursued.This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.