Detective: Alleged Colorado Springs club shooter ran neo-Nazi site
The 22-year-old accused of carrying out the deadly mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs in November ran a neo-Nazi website and used gay and racial slurs while gaming online, a police detective testified Wednesday.
Anderson Lee Aldrich also posted an image of a rifle scope trained on a gay pride parade and used a bigoted slur when referring to someone who was gay, Detective Rebecca Joines testified at the start of a three-day hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant a hate crime charge against Aldrich in the Nov. 19 attack.
Aldrich, who identifies as nonbinary and uses the pronouns they and them, administered the obscure website that included what Joines described as a “neoNazi white supremacist” shooting training video glorifying mass shootings.
The video, which she said was not created by Aldrich and has been posted online by many others too, featured attacks on synagogues and mosques in Europe and the 2019 shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Joines said she believes Aldrich was trying to emulate those attacks in the Colorado Springs shooting.
Investigators also heard from an acquaintance that Aldrich said their mother, Laura Voepel, is nonbinary and forced them to go to LGBTQ clubs, Joines said.
Unlike the other charges Aldrich faces, including murder and attempted murder, hate crime charges require prosecutors to present evidence of a motive — that Aldrich was driven by bias, either wholly or in part.
The defense countered that Aldrich was not antiLGBTQ, but was high on multiple drugs, was sleep deprived and came from an abusive family. Joines discussed police calls to the apartment that Aldrich and Laura Voepel shared for Voepel’s suicide attempt and overdose. During one call, Aldrich indicated feeling unsafe in the apartment, Joines acknowledged.
Joines said that while identification scanning technology showed Aldrich had been to the club at least six times before the shooting, there were no fights or disturbances during those visits, which each lasted just a few minutes. The defense even showed a photo that appeared to be a selfie of Aldrich and Voepel smiling at Club Q in August 2021.