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Reports: Alleged Colorado mass shooter is grandson of Assemblyman Voepel

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Posted at 10:37 AM, Nov 21, 2022

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The man charged Monday in the killings of five people and injuring of several others during a shooting rampage at a Colorado Springs gay bar is believed to be the grandson of Assemblyman Randy Voepel, R- Santee, according to multiple media reports.

Police said the alleged gunman, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, opened fire inside Club Q just before midnight Saturday. Police have not released a suspected motive for the attack. He is facing murder and hate crime charges.

Voepel's office has not commented on the relationship, though multiple media outlets reported that Aldrich's mother is Laura Voepel, daughter of Assemblyman Randy Voepel, who has represented the 71st district since 2016 and previously served as mayor of Santee.

Randy Voepel ran for the 75th District this year but he was handily defeated by incumbent and fellow Republican Marie Waldron.

Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Adrian Vasquez said the gunman began firing on a crowd of people inside the club, before he was taken down by at least two patrons, preventing further casualties. He was arrested about five minutes after the shooting began.

In addition to the rifle allegedly used in the attack, Colorado Springs police said multiple other firearms were found at the scene.

"Law enforcement is still working to identify who the firearms belonged to," according to a department statement.

Aldrich was also arrested by police last year for allegedly making a bomb threat, resulting in a standoff with police in Colorado Springs.

According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Aldrich's mother told police her son was threatening her "with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition."

Aldrich initially refused to surrender, but eventually was taken into custody. No explosives were found by police, who arrested him on suspicion of felony menacing and first-degree kidnapping. Media outlets reported that prosecutors did not move forward with charging Aldrich in connection with the incident.