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Accused Colorado Springs shooter is grandson of California Assemblyman Randy Voepel, former Santee Mayor

CBS 8 has learned Anderson Aldrich, accused of opening fire inside a Colorado nightclub, is the grandson of Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — CBS 8 learned that the 22-year-old suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, accused of opening fire with a semiautomatic rifle inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and leaving 25 injured, is the grandson of outgoing Assemblyman Randy Voepel.

On Monday, CBS 8 confirmed the relationship between Voepel and Aldrich through a family member.

CBS 8 is still waiting to hear from him or his office, but we reached out by phone and email to several members of Assemblymember Voepel’s staff asking for an interview or statement and they did not get back to us. CBS 8 also stopped by his district office in Santee on Monday and it was locked, and we went by his house, but no one answered the door.

On Sunday, CBS 8 investigated the claim that Assemblyman Voepel is related to Anderson Lee Aldrich through a background check system and uncovered Republican Assemblyman Voepel’s daughter is the mother of the Colorado Springs shooting suspect.

Authorities were called to Club Q at 11:57 p.m. Saturday with a report of a shooting, and the first officer arrived at midnight.  

Joshua Thurman said he was in the club with about two dozen other people and was dancing when the shots began. He initially thought it was part of the music until he heard another shot and said he saw the flash of a gun muzzle. 

A law enforcement official said that the suspect used an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon in the Saturday night shooting at Club Q. A handgun and additional ammunition magazines also were recovered, according to the official, who could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. 

According to reports, Assemblyman Randy Voepel previously drew harsh criticism from his colleagues in Sacramento after he compared the January 6th attack at the United State Capitol to the American Revolutionary War.

In a tweet, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said, "San Diego grieves for the lives taken by another mass shooting, this time in Colorado Springs."

Authorities said the accused shooter was arrested in 2021 after his mother reported he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons. However, they declined to elaborate on that arrest. 

No explosives were found, authorities said at the time, and The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported that prosecutors did not pursue any charges and that records were sealed. 

Since 2006, there have been 523 mass killings and 2,727 deaths as of Nov. 19, according to The Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the U.S. 

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