The grandfather of the man accused of opening fire and killing five people at a Colorado nightclub over the weekend has been identified as a Republican lawmaker who praised the January 6, 2021 attacks on the United States Capitol, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Randy Voepel, the grandfather of shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, was until recently a MAGA Republican lawmaker who compared the attacks on the U.S. Capitol building to the Revolutionary War.
Voepel previously served in the California State Assembly before losing his position to GOP challenger Marie Waldron in August during his district’s Republican primary election.
“This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny,” Voepel said during the January 6 insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. “Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear in on January 20th.”
Voepel and Aldrich were linked via a series of posts the suspect made online under his mother’s name, Laura Voepel. Aldrich was arrested on Saturday after allegedly opening fire inside the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub named Club Q.
The 22-year-old suspect is accused of killing at least five patrons and injuring at least 25 more. Aldrich was previously arrested in June 2021 after allegedly threatening to blow up his mother’s house using a homemade bomb. While he was charged with two counts of felony menacing and three counts of first-degree kidnapping as a result of the incident, those charges were later dropped and the records were sealed.
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One survivor, who was at Club Q when Aldrich entered the establishment and allegedly opened fire, has spoken out and described the shocking scene as it took place.
“I thought it was the music because there were no screams, no shouts of 'Help, help,' nothing like that,” survivor Bargoer Joshua Thurman told Daily Mail. “Then I heard more shots and saw the flash from the muzzle of the gun.”
“When I realized what was going on, I ran to the dressing room immediately,” Thurman continued. “There was a customer that followed me, and there was a drag performer, Del Lusional, who was in the dressing room. I made them lock the doors and we got down on the floor and cut out the lights immediately.”
“There was broken glass, blood – I lost friends,” he added while describing the aftermath of the shooting.
Aldrich's alleged shooting spree ultimately came to an end after two patrons at Club Q tackled the suspect to the ground before police entered the building, taking him into custody.
“Their actions clearly saved lives,” Colorado Spring Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said during a press conference Sunday morning. Vasquez also revealed at least two firearms were found at the scene.
Aldrich is now in protective custody at a local hospital as he is treated for unknown injuries he sustained during the shooting. He is also reportedly refusing to speak with investigators.
“I haven’t heard that he has not been cooperative, just simply that he has determined not to speak to investigators,” Police Chief Vasquez said before adding that charges against the suspect would be filed “relatively soon after” Aldrich is discharged from the hospital.