Nicholas Brink was the birth name of accused Club Q mass shooter Anderson Aldrich.
Heavy has confirmed the name change via public records in Texas. The case was filed in Bexar County, Texas, because Aldrich was living in San Antonio at the time. Aldrich was also known as “Nick Brink” before the name change.
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.”
The name change was filed in April 2016 in the 37th District Court. The case summary reads “Nicholas F. Brink to Anderson L Aldrich.” The judge granted the change, the court records say.
The Washington Post was first to report the name change. According to the Post, Aldrich, now 22, sought the name change due to online bullying that occurred when he was a juvenile.
Anderson Lee Aldrich is the suspect accused of perpetrating a mass shooting at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The November 19, 2022, attack left five dead and 19 injured, including 17 who suffered gunshot wounds, police said.
The shooter entered the nightclub with a long rifle and opened fire inside just before midnight, Colorado Springs Police Lieutenant Pamela Castro said in an early morning news conference on November 20. Aldrich was subdued by heroic patrons, who were credited with saving lives, Castro said. One disarmed the suspect and beat him with his own gun, according to NPR.
Here’s what you need to know:
At Age 15, Aldrich ‘Became the Target of a Particularly Vicious Bout of Online Bullying’
The Washington Post reported that Aldrich had a “tumultuous past,” growing up Nicholas Brink in San Antonio, Texas. Aldrich mother, Laura Voepel, was arrested for “suspected arson” when Aldrich was 12, although she was convicted of a lesser charge, The Post reported. That case, Heavy has documented, is also in Bexar County, Texas.
In 2013, she had a charge recorded for criminal mischief.
“At age 15, he became the target of a particularly vicious bout of online bullying in which insulting accusations were posted to a website, along with his name, photos and online aliases,” The Post reported of then Nicholas Brink, adding that a YouTube account under Nick Brink’s then name featured “a crude, profanity-laden animation under the title, ‘Asian homosexual gets molested.'”
That is the only social media account to be verified for Aldrich.
The gunman’s birth name was Nicholas Brink, The Washington Post also confirmed, reporting that Aldrich changed the name due to “online bullying.”
The Name Change Petition Says Aldrich Wanted to Escape Aldrich’s Father’s Criminal History
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.” ”
Aaron Brink is Aldrich’s dad, according to The Washington Post, which said Brink and Aldrich’s mom Laura Voepel Brink were divorced in 2001, a year after Aldrich was born, in Orange, California. At the time of the name change, 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 Laura Voepel had moved, at the time of the mass shooting.
According to MMA Junkie, Aaron 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.
Aldrich’s Mother Was Concerned About Aldrich’s Mental Health, According to Her Facebook Comments
Online records show Aldrich living at an apartment complex address in Colorado Springs. Online records indicate Aldrich shares that address with Laura Voepel, 44, who works as a support engineer and previously lived in California.
On Aldrich’s birthday, Laura Voepel wrote on Facebook, “My boys 15 birthday! He got head to toe (6’3″) ghillie military suit ànd he is surfing cloud 9.” She tagged her mother, Pamela Pullen, in the post, who Ancestry.com records confirm is Randy’s ex-wife.
Facebook posts made by Aldrich’s mother reveal he had been dealing with mental health issues. She posted often about Aldrich 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! 🙏👍🏻😊”
Randy Voepel was defeated after redistricting forced two Republicans to run against each other. Heavy has reached out to numerous members of Voepel’s office to seek comment from him, including his chief of staff.
In Colorado Springs, the police chief told the assembled media that Aldrich, 22, had entered the gay nightclub and opened fire.
“The suspect entered Club Q and immediately began shooting people inside,” Vasquez said. At least two “heroic people confronted” and stopped Aldrich from being able to harm others, the chief said. The witnesses were not identified. The FBI was on the scene and police were still working to identify the victims who had died, he said. Aldrich used a long rifle, he said.