COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – According to documents released Thursday, the person suspected of killing five people at an LGBTQ nightclub told relatives months before the attack, “you guys die today” if they kept telling police about plans to build a bomb and hurt other people.
The documents shed light on the investigation into 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich. In 2021, about 17 months before the attack, Aldrich’s grandparents told police that their grandson was making a bomb and threatening them. Aldrich is said to have told the grandparents in June 2021, “You guys are going to die today, and I’m going to take you with me.”
Some family members tried to keep Aldrich from going to jail, while others worried that he was violent and might kill people. The records show how divided the family was. Robert Pullen and Jeanie Streltzoff, the suspect’s great uncle and aunt, wrote to a judge after Aldrich was charged with five felonies in the bomb threat case, “We feel sure that if (Aldrich) is freed, (Aldrich) will hurt or kill my brother and his wife.”
In the end, the top prosecutor for the county said that the charges had to be dropped because Aldrich’s family wouldn’t help. The case made people wonder if police could have used Colorado’s “red flag” law to take the suspect’s weapons. El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen called this a “what-if” that might not have stopped the violence at Club Q.
Allen said, “The only way it could have stopped the tragedy is if the witnesses had been in court, testified, and someone was found guilty.” “Again, Aldrich was not found guilty in that case,” the judge said.
Documents: Suspect Said He Would Kill Grandparents If They Moved To Florida
The unsealed documents show that the incident began on June 18, 2021, when Aldrich’s grandmother, Pamela Pullen, told police that Aldrich had been making a bomb in their basement.
When Pullen and her husband, Jonathan Pullen, told Aldrich that they had sold their home in Colorado and were moving to Florida, Aldrich threatened the grandparents and said they couldn’t move because it would “get in the way of him making bombs,” according to documents that have been made public.
Then Aldrich put a gun to their heads and said, “You guys are going to die today, and I’m going with you. I have everything I need. No one is calling you, “says what the papers say.
The affidavit says that Aldrich told the grandparents about a plan to “shoot and bomb a large number of people.” Aldrich held the grandparent’s hostage in their own home until they promised not to move. When Aldrich went to the basement again, according to the records, the couple left the house.
SWAT was called to Aldrich’s mother’s house, where there was a standoff. Aldrich ran away and threatened to use explosives, according to the authorities. Neighbors had to leave and police crisis negotiators had to come before the suspect gave himself up. Aldrich was arrested for making threats and taking people hostage.
On Thursday, Allen said that when police went to the house in 2021 to carry out a search warrant, they found a 9mm “ghost gun” and an MM-15 rifle. He said that it is not against the law in Colorado to own a “ghost gun,” which is a gun without a serial number that can’t be tracked. Allen said it is against the law to sell the weapons to other people. The two guns are still in the care of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Allen said that the Sheriff’s office said no when Aldrich asked for the guns back after the case was closed.
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Mom Tried To Hide Aldrich From The Police Before Bomb Threats
Police tried to talk to Aldrich’s mother about what happened, but according to the documents, she was not helpful and would not answer any questions about where Aldrich was. After the fight at the grandparents’ house, Aldrich ran away to her home nearby.
In an affidavit, a deputy said that screenshots of text messages between Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, and her landlord showed that she was hiding the suspect in her home. The papers show that she wrote that she “needed to make sure the police weren’t coming for her son.”
SWAT Team came to Voepel’s house, and Aldrich let them take Voepel, who was in the house with the suspect. The unsealed documents say that Aldrich, who was wearing tactical gear, told the people outside to go back because the suspect had Tannerite, an explosive mixture, inside the house and would shoot through the walls.
Relatives say that if Aldrich is set free, he will “hurt or kill”
Robert Pullen and Jeanie Streltzoff, Aldrich’s great uncle and great aunt, wrote to the judge on November 29, 2021, that Aldrich had been troubled his whole life, even though Aldrich’s grandparents did their best to raise and protect their grandchild.
They said that Aldrich attacked and threatened the grandfather, Jonathan Pullen, many times, but that the grandfather was too afraid to stand up to Aldrich. Pullen said that once, when they lived in San Antonio, Jonathan Pullen had to go to the emergency room. Pullen lied to the doctors about what happened because he was afraid of Aldrich’s anger if Aldrich was caught by the police.
In the letter from Aldrich’s family, there were more than a dozen bullet points that talked about how he behaved. For example, Strelzhoff told her husband that she had given Aldrich $30,000, most of which he used to buy two 3D printers that he used to make guns. “One of them came to the house, but it was taken back,” the uncle and aunt wrote.
In the letter from 2021, the couple said that if Aldrich got out of jail at the time, he “would hurt or kill my brother and his wife.” The couple also said that they think Aldrich “needs therapy and counseling.” Aldrich had talked to police and other authorities before the bomb threat in June 2021, his family says. Aldrich’s great uncle and great aunt say he had talked to police and other authorities before that.
In the letter, the couple said that police had been called to the grandparents’ house before, but Aldrich “threatened my brother if he told them anything.” Robert Pullen and Jeanie Streltzoff also talked about a time when Aldrich “was picked up for 72 hours but was let go early.”
Another time, they wrote, a counselor who had seen the grandparents called the police. The police came to the house and wanted to “hold” Aldrich for 72 hours, but the grandmother “would not let (Aldrich) be taken.”
This Week, A Suspect Was Charged In The Shooting At An LGBTQ Club In Colorado Springs
Aldrich was charged with 305 counts on Tuesday, including murder, attempted murder, assault, hate crime, and more violent crime charges related to the mass shooting at the LGBTQ nightclub.
Detective J. Gasper wrote in an arrest affidavit that Aldrich went into Club Q on January 19 just before midnight with an AR-platform rifle and a pistol and started shooting almost as soon as he got into the main area of the club.
Detective J. Gasper, one of the officers who went to the club after the arrest, wrote in the Wednesday filing about the bloody scene there after the arrest. He also said that outside the club, there was “medical intervention debris and clothing items lying around.”
The records will be posted on the Colorado 4th District cases of interest page by the 4th Judicial District Clerk’s Office. Thursday at 1:30 MDT, the office of the 4th Judicial District Attorney is going to hold a press conference.
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