The biological grandson of California Assemblyman Randy Voepel is the suspect in a shooting spree at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, according to numerous people who corroborated the information on Monday.
According to sources close to Voepel, Anderson Aldrich, 22, the alleged shooter and the assemblyman have not had a relationship for about ten years.
Voepel has served as the 71st Assembly District’s representative since 2016, including portions of Riverside and San Diego counties. Voepel lost his Assembly seat in the midterm election weeks ago, but he got death threats and called for resignation after the shooting on Saturday.
Voepel and another incumbent, Assemblywoman Marie Waldron, were forced into a Republican-on-Republican race after Voepel’s district was redrawn to become the new 75th Assembly District.
Voepel’s platforms in his most recent campaign were enhancing public safety, reducing living expenses, addressing homelessness, assisting veterans, and defending gun rights in California.
Since the attack at Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday night that left five individuals dead and 17 others injured, Aldrich has been detained on murder and hate crime charges.
Aldrich’s mother claimed he had constructed a bomb at home and threatened her in 2021. He was not charged, according to the Associated Press.
People close to Voepel remarked about a statement he made around the time of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol that compared it to the Revolutionary War. He said he did not support or agree with the riot in that statement.
Five days after the uprising, Voepel said, “The acts that took place, as reprehensible as they were, are a sign of severe division currently facing our nation.” “That’s why it’s so crucial that each of us put in additional effort to mend our differences,” he continued.
His comments after January 6 prompted a national security advocacy group to call on the state assembly to oust him, but they were unsuccessful.
In 2007, Voepel’s mother got her son’s sole legal and physical custody. She is the daughter of California Assemblyman Randy Voepel. In May that year, Voepel told the court that she was unemployed, engaged, and expecting a new baby. The shooter was six years old at the time.