Sunday, December 4, 2022

Mass Shooting Suspect’s Father Previously Competed In The UFC

Court documents have revealed that the primary suspect of last weekend’s mass shooting in Colorado changed their name to avoid association with their father, MMA fighter Aaron Brink.

Anderson Lee Aldrich (who identifies as nonbinary) was arrested by Colorado Springs police shortly after an attack on LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q left at least 5 people dead and an additional 19 injured.

According to Denver 7 News, the 22-year-old entered the club just before midnight on Saturday, November 19 and immediately started shooting before being subdued by several of the club patrons.

The deadly shooting at Colorado Springs’ Club Q left several people dead and many more with serious injuries. (New York Times)

The club management indicated that no employees or regular patrons recognized Aldrich as having any prior association with the establishment. Aldrich had previously been arrested in June of 2021 for threatening their mother with a variety of weapons, but authorities are still establishing the motivation behind the attack at Club Q.

The 22-year-old hasn’t been formally charged with anything yet, but is currently in custody and being investigated for a number of charges that include bias-motivated crime and first-degree murder.

Aldrich’s Father Signed Off On Name Change

In addition to the previous arrest from 2021, previous court records found by The Denver Post showed that Aldrich changed their name in 2016 as a 15-year-old.

Nicholas Franklin Brink was living in San Antonio, Texas and in the care of their grandparents at the time of the name change. The reasoning for the change given by the 15-year-old’s legal guardians was to avoid any association with their father, who “had no contact with (Aldrich) for several years.”

The Denver Post report notes that Aaron Brink signed the necessary documents providing permission for the name change as Aldrich’s father. Brink and Aldrich’s mother Laura Voepel divorced in 2001, and the 48-year-old has yet to release any public comment in the wake of the shooting.

Brink fought future heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at UFC 28: High Stakes.

Brink began his MMA career in 1998 and has competed in nearly 60 professional bouts. “El Frijolero” made one appearance in the UFC in 2000 where he lost to Andrei Arlovski, and Brink’s record includes fights with other notable names including Rich Franklin, Jeremy Horn, Alistair Overeem, and Travis Browne.

The 48-year-old last competed when he stopped Cody Sons at CCW 13 in 2019, although he’s had several fights cancelled since then. In a 2009 interview with MMA Junkie, Brink spoke about his previous legal issues and battles with drug addiction.

What’s your reaction to the news that the suspect of a mass shooting in Colorado changed their name to avoid being associated with Brink?