Laura Voepel is the mother of accused Colorado Springs mass shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich.
She is also the daughter of Randy Voepel, an outgoing Republican state Assembly man in California. She was briefly married to Aldrich’s father, Aaron Brink, an adult film performer named “Dick Delaware” who has a criminal history and crystal meth addiction.
Police in Colorado say Aldrich, 22, entered Club Q, which is a nightclub serving the LGBTQ community, and opened fire with a long rifle, killing five people. Another 19 were wounded, including 17 other gunshot victims, police said. Aldrich was subdued by patrons and is in the hospital. Aldrich’s motive is not clear, but the club called the mass shooting a “hate attack.”
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, a New York Times reporter, wrote on Twitter, “In new court filing, public defenders for the suspect in the mass shooting at a Colorado gay club that left 5 people dead say that their client is non-binary and that ‘they use they/them pronouns.’ The lawyers refer to their client as Mx. Anderson Aldrich.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Voepel, Who Says She Worked as a Support Engineer, Was Once Accused of Arson
According to her LinkedIn page, Laura Voepel worked as a support engineer for a Colorado Springs company called Tek Experts.
“Skills: Client Billing · Refunds · Customer Satisfaction · Exceeding Quotas · Emotional Management · Visio · HTML5,” she wrote.
She was previously Sales Lead at Chico’s FAS, Inc., a manager at Sopranos Italian Fine Dining, and Director of Sales for Urban Worx.
She volunteered as a bulletin specialist for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to her LinkedIn page, which says her responsibilities included “Details/photos of ward activity and events. I cover the events and post on ward bulletin board for all members.”
Voepel claims to have a 153 test score from Mensa International. She has a certificate from the Texas Alcohol Beverage Association, her LinkedIn page says.
Court records in Bexar County, Texas, show she was accused of arson in 2012.
The Washington Post, which first reported that charge, noted that she was convicted of a lesser offense. There is also a 2013 charge of criminal mischief for her in court records.
In 2016, Aldrich sought a name change from Nicholas Brink to Anderson Lee Aldrich, court records in Texas show.
According to the Post, this was due to a vicious attack of online bullying against him.
2. Laura’s Dad Caused Controversy With His Comments on the January 6 Attacks
A January 12, 2021, article in the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that “California chapters of a group focused on national security” were calling for the expulsion of state Rep. Randy Voepel, R-Santee, because of comments he made in the days after the January 6 attacks at the U.S. Capitol.
“This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny,” Voepel said, according to the newspaper. “Tyranny will follow in the aftermath of the Biden swear-in on January 20th.”
The Union-Tribune noted that Voepel “later tweeted that he condemned violence and lawlessness.”
“What I meant by Lexington and Concord was, that was how it would be seen by some people,” Voepel explained to the newspaper, adding that he found the January 6 attacks disgraceful.
“The left has their crazies and the right has their crazies, and I don’t support either one,” Voepel said. “I support the First Amendment and the ability to protest, as long as you keep it peaceful.”
On Facebook, Aldrich’s mom gave shout-outs to Randy Voepel, referring to him as “dad.” In one Facebook post, she wrote, “Keep up the work Dad~~ You work hard to improve our lives and a lot of us take notice.”
Divorce records on Ancestry.com confirm that Randy Voepel is divorced from Laura’s mother, Pamela Pullen. Laura Voepel also has a young son, according to her Facebook page.
After Heavy reported the familial tie, the Denver Gazette also confirmed that Randy Voepel is the grandfather of Aldrich.
Randy Voepel is a former California mayor and city council member. He lost his seat in a Republican primary in August due to redistricting.
3. Aldrich Was Once Accused of Threatening to Harm Laura Voepel With a ‘Homemade Bomb’
In 2021, Anderson Lee Aldrich was accused of being involved in a bomb threat situation with weapons in the Lorson Ranch neighborhood of Colorado Springs, a press release says.
Around that same time, Laura Voepel was seeking a criminal defense attorney online.
According to the June 18, 2021, press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the reporting party “said her son was threatening to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons and ammunition. The reporting party was not in the home at the time when she made the call and was not sure where her son was.”
Authorities responded and realized the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, DOB 5/20/2000, was in a residence 1 mile away. The deputies contacted Aldrich by phone and he refused to surrender. A tactical support unit responded to the scene and began evacuating 10 homes in the area as a precaution.
Eventually Aldrich complied and walked out the front door after a crisis negotiations unit became involved, the release says. It says Aldrich was booked into the El Paso County Jail on charges of felony menacing and first-degree kidnapping. That press release said a mugshot for Aldrich would be released in the future. Heavy contacted the jail to seek that mugshot and was sent to a voicemail that is full.
Authorities would not comment on any past criminal history for Anderson Aldrich. There is no ongoing court case listed for Anderson Aldrich in Colorado court records. No formal charges were ever filed, and the case was sealed, so it’s not clear why, Gazette.com reported.
The newspaper reported that Aldrich called an editor and asked for the story to be removed from the website.
“There is absolutely nothing there, the case was dropped, and I’m asking you either remove or update the story,” Aldrich told The Gazette in a voicemail. “The entire case was dismissed.”
The Gazette questioned why this arrest did not activate Colorado’s red flag law.
4. Voepel Tried to Get Aldrich a Boxing Instructor & Counselor Who Deals With PTSD
Facebook posts made by Aldrich’s mother reveal Aldrich had been dealing with mental health issues. She posted often about her son in a Facebook group for women involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Colorado Springs area.
In one post in July 2021, she asked for help finding a criminal defense attorney, “Hello Sisters. Does anyone know of a fantastic defense attorney? I ask this with a heavy heart but my family really needs some help at this time. We have cash to retain good counsel. Thank you.” Her post about needing a criminal defense attorney came just after her son was arrested.
In February 2022, she wrote, “Hello Sisters. Can anyone please recommend a great trauma/ptsd therapist?” and indicated it was for a 21-year-old, which Aldrich then was. She asked in May 2022, “Can anybody refer my son to a private boxing coach? He’s 6’6” tall and hits like a freight train. Cannot find a good gym or anyone serious. He has made huge life changes and needs this!”
In 2021, she wrote, “Does anyone have an extra heavy duty fan they would like to donate to my son? He’s in University Village Apartments and it’s 80 degrees in his apartment and no fan. They put in a new ac but it doesn’t blow any air out. I swear they need to clean those ducts. He doesn’t have any cash so thought I’d ask you. Thanks all! 🙏👍🏻😊”
That same year, she wrote, “Hello Sisters! 😊 This is a shot in the dark but does anyone have an extra queen size box spring they can spare/donate? My son has a queen mattress and a very small metal frame and he’s pretty much on the ground with no support. His poor back hurts him ao much and I just cannot afford to buy anything for him at this time. Thanks Sisters ❤️❤️❤️”
She also wrote: “Hello Sisters! Is there anybody going to the Bishop’s Storehouse anytime soon that may be able to pick up my food order for me? I work horrible hours and don’t have a car and am in desperate need of this food. I haven’t been to the store in almost 2 months. I would really appreciate this! Thank you 🙏”
5. Voepel Was Briefly Married to a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Who Became a Porn Star
Aaron Brink is a former mixed martial arts fighter and adult film performer with the stage name “Dick Delaware” who is the father of accused Colorado Springs mass shooter Anderson Aldrich.
Aldrich’s dad has a colorful and checkered history that includes crystal meth addiction, mixed martial arts, porn, and time in prison. The name change petition, obtained by the Denver Gazette, and written by Aldrich’s maternal grandmother Pamela Pullen, reads, “minor wishes to protect himself and his future from any connections to birth father and his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years.” ”
The Washington Post reported that Brink and Aldrich’s mom Laura Voepel Brink were divorced in 2001, a year after Aldrich was born, in Orange, California. At age 15, Nick Brink changed that name to Anderson Lee Aldrich. Voepel’s mother, Pamela Pullen, was listed as Aldrich’s legal guardian, the Denver Gazette reported.
The Gazette reported that Nicholas Brink chose the name Anderson Lee Aldrich because Aldrich liked the initials “ALA.”
Online records reviewed by Heavy show that Brink, now 48, still lives in California. Aldrich was living in Colorado Springs, where Aldrich’s mom had moved, at the time of the mass shooting.
According to MMA Junkie, Brink “grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif., as the son of a blue-collar worker when blue-collar workers could still make it in Huntington Beach.” He loved surfing but turned to wrestling because his dad did not find surfing athletic enough, the site reports.
“He was kicked out of Huntington High for fighting, and from 1989-92, he was in and out of juvenile hall eight times for different issues,” MMA Junkie reports.
The site adds, “Brink was arrested for smuggling marijuana from Mexico to the United States and was sentenced to time at Federal Correctional Institution Terminal Island.” That federal case dates to 1993.
In 2016, Brink ran afoul with the law again, according to a police report in Rocklin. It reads:
At about 6:37 pm, Rocklin Police responded to a theft in progress where the suspect was reported to have be in possession of a firearm. Officers arrived and located the suspect vehicle in the area of Lonetree Boulevard and Sandhill Way. The vehicle was occupied by two occupants who were both detained. Officers discovered one occupant, Aaron Brink was in violation of parole from Southern California and was under the influence of a controlled substance. The second occupant, Anthony Dickerson was found to be in possession of burglary tools. Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Placer County Jail.
Brink appeared in a 2009 episode of the television show “Intervention.”
The episode caption reveals his porn name was “Dick Delaware.”
“Aaron was a mixed martial arts champion, but at the height of his career he started working in porn under the name ‘Dick Delaware,'” it reads. “Through the porn scene, Aaron was introduced to crystal meth. His daily habit took over and he lost both his porn and fighting careers. He now spends his days using drugs and watching porn for hours on end, and his wife is at the end of her rope.”
MMA Junkie explains that Brink started doing porn at age 27.
“I met this porn producer,” Brink told the site. “I was f****** around with some girls at a party, and he noticed I was very gifted. He said, ‘Man, you’re a goddamn pro. If you get a test, I’ll put you in a scene.’”
A 2007 profile of “Dick Delaware” on XBiz, calls him “an uneasy ball of anger.”
Aaron and Vanessa Brink appeared on an episode of “Divorce Court” in 2011.
“Two former adult stars, Aaron and Vanessa, have had a rocky marriage and now Vanessa is done. Aaron wishes that she could see him not as he was, but as he is today: clean and sober, with a career in Mixed Martial Arts, and still very much in love with her,” the YouTube caption reads.
Leslie Bowman told the New York Times that the 2021 standoff with Anderson occurred at her home because she was renting a spare room to his mother, also identified by the Times as Laura Voepel.
“His mom had called me and said, ‘Don’t come home right now, there are some people looking for Andy,’” Bowman told the newspaper, which reported that “Andy” is Aldrich’s nickname.
Voepel moved out two days later, and Bowman never heard from her again but she told The Times that police visited about a month ago seeking to check Voepel’s welfare.
She told the Times that Aldrich was living in a house with maternal grandparents but would visit Laura Voepel to watch movies with her. (This appears to be a reference to Voepel’s mother and her new husband, not to Randy Voepel.)
Bowman told the Times Aldrich had an “aggressive side,” and once slammed a door in her face when Laura Voepel complained about repairs.
“Why is he not in jail, after that happening?” Bowman told The Times. “After that initial day, police never reached out to me for additional information. I’m a Second Amendment supporter, don’t get me wrong. But for him to be out there, and have access to weapons after that incident, I don’t understand it.”
Laura’s Facebook page hints at trouble in her life. She has a younger son, but she wrote about missing him.